Chapter 2


Narrator: Lockwood. 

Lockwood revisits Wuthering Heights where he has an even more unfriendly welcome than previously. He meets a woman he calls ‘Mrs Heathcliff’, and Hareton. He is forced to stay overnight by a heavy snowstorm and is shown into an unused bedroom by Zillah, the maid.


A sense of mystery over who characters are, and how they relate to each other, is building. 

Unable to remove the chain: a locked gate, intended to keep people out. The door is also locked. (See Imagery and symbolism: doors, windows, gates and locks.)

T’: stands for ‘the’ in the Yorkshire dialect. The student is advised not to spend too much effort ‘translating’ Joseph’s language. Try saying it aloud to yourself!

Fowld: the fold or farmyard.

Laith: barn.

Flaysome dins: frightful noises.

A young man: Hareton is the one who lets Lockwood in: an early hint of his qualities.

Something like cats: Lockwood mistakes dead rabbits for live kittens. This is an obvious example of one of many misunderstandings which he has (see previous note); he is an unreliable narrator

Your amiable lady: Lockwood mistakes the young woman (Cathy) as ‘Mrs Heathcliff’. He continues to blunder over Hareton, but is not particularly embarrassed.

You scandalous old hypocrite: Cathy teases Joseph; do we get the impression that Emily Brontë is enjoying this?

Postern: door.

Painting of Cordelia in the Court of King Lear by Sir John Gilbert 1873Smacked of King Lear: the king, in Shakespeare’s play, shows anger towards his daughter who refuses to flatter him (see the start of Act III, sc 2). Emily Brontë was reading King Lear as she was writing her novel and there are a number of parallels. (See Literary context > Emily Brontë and the novel > Other literary traditions found in Wuthering Heights.)

Agait: going on.

Wisht: be quiet.

Investigating Chapter 2

  • Make a list of the misunderstandings that Lockwood has in this chapter
  • What do you make of ‘Mrs Heathcliff’s’ reference to ‘Black Art’ and ‘modelled in wax and clay’?
    • Is she serious or just taunting Joseph?
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