Why Does Mr. Lockwood Go to Wuthering Heights? What Role Does He Play in The Novel?

Wuthering Heights is a novel by Emily Brontë, with Mr. Lockwood serving as the frame-narrator. He learns the story from the mansion’s servant Nelly Dean, and the story unfolds from his diary entries. Lockwood visits Mr. Heathcliff, his landlord at Thrushcross Grange, and is deeply moved by the story he hears. He decides to share it with the world, and the story from his diary becomes the novel.

Lockwood is a central character in the story, but before the novel’s events, little is known about him. He chooses not to reveal any personal details of his past or present life and instead focuses on the story of Wuthering Heights. He is a gentleman living in London and moves to the remote farmland to escape modern society and recover from a recent heartbreak. The narrator is not particularly sympathetic and proclaims himself a misanthropist.

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The book starts with Lockwood’s arrival at Thrushcross Grange, and he is surprised by his landlord’s hostility. He is shocked by the unfriendly atmosphere of the place in general, and his peaceful escape from reality does not start well. During his second visit to Wuthering Heights, Lockwood spends the night in the mansion and comes across Catherine Earnshaw’s diary. From the diary, he learns about Catherine’s life and her love for Heathcliff, as well as Hindley’s resentment and hatred towards him.

After reading the diary, Lockwood has a nightmare where Catherine’s ghost is asking to let her in through the window. The man wakes up, deeply affected by the nightmare, and keeps seeing the woman’s specter. He shares his dream with Heathcliff, who orders him to leave the manor immediately. When Lockwood returns to Thrushcross Grange, he learns the whole story of Heathcliff’s love towards Catherine and the love triangle involving Linton’s family.

Nelly Dean’s retelling of the story makes up a significant part of the novel, but Mr. Lockwood plays a crucial role in the storyline. He adds a unique attitude to the story and makes it less dark and cruel. Mr. Lockwood appears as a mysterious character, leaving the reader with a desire to find out more about his persona, but his past and personal history remain unknown.



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