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Wuthering Heights, Essential Leaving Cert Revision Notes

Chapter Summaries

Chapter 1

The novel opens with Lockwood writing in his diary in 1801. He reflects on a recent first visit with his landlord, Heathcliff, and the first few days as a tenant at Thrushcross Grange, an isolated manor in Yorkshire. He describes Heathcliff; though he thinks of him initially as a “capitol fellow” (3) upon meeting Heathcliff, he finds him to be a surly, dark man “his black eyes [withdrawing] so suspiciously under their brows … his fingers sheltered themselves, with a jealous resolution” (3). Upon entering Wuthering Heights he is met by the lonely “domestic” (4), Joseph, who is just as surly as his master and described as a “dark-skinned gypsy” (6). He is an old man and a religious zealot, who constantly grumbles and curses as he goes about his tasks. Lockwood briefly describes the manor, noting that “wuthering” is a colloquial term used to describe the stormy winds that characterise the area. The manor, though in poor upkeep as Joseph is the lone caretaker, appears strong, and has many gothic looking details, especially around the door. It is made clear by his lack of excitement at renting out Thrushcross Grange and the fact that he leaves Lockwood alone in a room of snarling dogs for a time that he does not trust Lockwood. He is saved by a “lusty dame” (8); a ruddy-cheeked housekeeper wielding a frying pan. When Heathcliff returns he is angry but simmers down when Heathcliff grins and offers him some wine. Though he still feels as if he is not truly welcome at Wuthering Heights he does not let his unease stop him and volunteers to visit the next day.

Chapter 2

Lockwood, planning to spend a lazy day lounging by the fire in his study, when confronted by a serving girl dustily cleaning out the fireplace, decides to make the four-mile walk “wading through heath and mud” (10) to Wuthering Heights. He arrives at the gothic manor just as the first flakes of a snow shower start to fall. Finding the gate locked, her jumps over it, only to find the doo...

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