Chapter 2 Notes from Wuthering Heights

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Wuthering Heights Chapter 2

The next day was cold and wet. Mr. Lockwood planned to lounge by the fire, but a servant was cleaning it. So instead he took the four-mile walk to Wuthering Heights, and as he arrived, the first flakes of snow were beginning to fall. No one is around, and he has to jump the gate. He bangs on the door without answer, and while cursing the inhabitant's lack of hospitality, Joseph appears. He tells him that Mr. Heathcliff is in the fields, and only the Missus is inside. She will not open the door. Joseph leaves and Mr. Lockwood tries the door again. Then a young man appears through the snow, and leads him inside.

Inside is a young woman, who ignores her new guest. Mr. Lockwood tries to strike up a conversation, and he asks her which of the house's animals are her favorites. He mistakenly suggests what he thinks are cats, but which are actually dead rabbits. When she gets up to make the tea, Mr. Lockwood notices how young and beautiful she is. If only her eyes and face had a more pleasant expression, she would be irresistible. She rejects Mr. Lockwood's offer of help, and when she learns he was not asked to tea, refuses to make him any. The young man who let Mr. Lockwood inside was crude and menacing, unhappy to see this stranger at the fire. When Mr. Heathcliff finally enters the tense room, he too is annoyed at the sight of Mr. Lockwood. The snow falls quickly, making the paths hidden and the crossing dangerous. Mr. Lockwood, noticing his annoyance, asks Mr. Heathcliff for a guide home, but he will offer none. Mr. Heathcliff's stubborn refusal to help him, and his gruff manner with Mrs. Heathcliff, lead Mr. Lockwood to think he misjudged Mr. Heathcliff when he thought him a nice person.

Mr. Lockwood tries to make conversation during the meal, but blunders when he calls the woman Mr. Heathcliff's wife, and the boy Mr. Heathcliff's son. Offended and amused, Heathcliff tells him that Mrs. Heathcliff is his daughter-in-law, and the young man, Hareton Earnshaw, is not his son. An uncomfortable silence settled over the rest of the meal.

Night is falling, and Mr. Lockwood starts to imply that getting home is impossible, and he will need to stay the night. All three ignore him. Joseph gets angry with Mrs. Heathcliff for her idleness, and she curses him viciously. Mr. Lockwood tries to appeal to her for help, but she has none to offer. There are only five at the house, not enough to send one as his guide. Mr. Lockwood suggests he will have to stay, and Mr. Heathcliff reprimands him for making the trip over in this weather. He has no guest bedroom, and when Mr. Lockwood proposes he will sleep here by the fire, Mr. Heathcliff says this is inappropriate, because he could not guard the house from him. Disgusted, Mr. Lockwood makes a run for it. Mrs. Heathcliff and Hareton suggest helping Mr. Lockwood, but Mr. Heathcliff will have none of it. So Mr. Lockwood grabs a lantern from Joseph, promising to return it tomorrow. Joseph sends his dogs to attack him. Mr. Lockwood is hurt more by his own agitation than by dog bites. But the dogs will not leave him alone, and the others watch and laugh, until Zillah, the maidservant, breaks up the fight. She brings him inside, and in his weakened condition, he is forced to spend the night.

Topic Tracking: Violence 2

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