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Wuthering Heights Chapter 2 Summary

Instructor: Ian Matthews

Ian teaches college writing and has a Master's in Writing and Publishing

The second chapter of Emily Bronte's 'Wuthering Heights' sees Mr. Lockwood headed back up to the titular mansion to see his landlord Heathcliff again. See what happens on this cold and dreary night in this Wuthering Heights chapter 2 summary.

Through Heath and Mud

When we last left him, Mr. Lockwood was feeling pretty unwelcome at Wuthering Heights, the mansion of his landlord Heathcliff. The next day is windy and cold, and Lockwood's in no mood to go back up to the mansion - until he finds a servant girl putting his fire out just as he's ready to settle down. Lockwood makes the four-mile hike up to Wuthering Heights just as the snow is starting to fall.

When he gets to the gate outside the mansion, it's chained shut. He jumps over and continues to the house, but that's locked, too. Lockwood knocks until he bruises his knuckles, which sets the dogs howling. He settles for muttering insults at the house until Joseph, one of the servants at Wuthering Heights, yells out to him that the only person inside is 'the missis' and Lockwood should come back later. Lockwood is angry about this, especially because the snow is coming down pretty hard at this point, but a young man (who Lockwood assumes is a servant) leads him through another entrance to the house.

The Missis

Inside, Lockwood waits for Heathcliff with the young man and the woman Joseph mentioned. He calls her 'Mrs. Heathcliff', but she is very cold to him. All she'll actually say to him is that the dogs aren't hers, and that he shouldn't have come up to the mansion. She's even meaner than Heathcliff, Lockwood notices.

He also notices that she's really good-looking. She's young, slender, and she has a great face and beautiful eyes. Lockwood is about to get lost in those eyes when he realizes she's giving him the sternest look he's ever seen. As a matter of fact, the working man is also giving Lockwood the stink eye, to the point where Lockwood's not sure he's even a servant at all. Enter Heathcliff.

Heathcliff

Lockwood is relieved to see his dark, brooding landlord, if only because it breaks the awkward silence in the room. Lockwood says he's just there for a half hour or so, but Heathcliff knows better - if Lockwood leaves, he's likely to get lost and stuck in the marshes in the middle of the storm.

Heathcliff growls at the young man to make the tea. The lady resents Lockwood's presence totally; when she asks if Lockwood is going to get any, Heathcliff practically tears her head off. Lockwood's starting to get an idea of what kind of person Heathcliff is, and it's not great. He tries to break the tension by chatting away about this and that, but Heathcliff isn't having it.

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