Lockwood informs us that he is about to visit his new landlord, Mr. Heathcliff. He is met with suspicion by the other characters and given a hostile reception not only by Heathcliff but also Heathcliffs servant, Joseph, and a female servant. However, this unwelcome reception does not deter our rather pompous narrator: he closes the chapter with an assertion that he will return the next day.
Lockwood arrives at Wuthering Heights for a second time just as snow begins to fall. At first he cannot get in, and receives no help from Joseph. Hareton takes him round the back where he meets Cathy Heathcliff. Heathcliff explains that his wife and son are dead. Cathy is his daughter-in-law. Having been snowed in, Lockwood is forced to stay the night.
Lockwood is shown to a forbidden room in which he finds the diary of Catherine. He experiences two disturbing dreams and meets the ghost of Catherine. His cries bring an agitated Heathcliff to the door. Lockwood returns to the Grange exhausted.
Resting in bed, Lockwood asks his housekeeper Nelly Dean to recount the history of the inhabitants of the Heights. She begins with Heathcliffs arrival as a boy, and the impact this had upon the Earnshaw family.
Nelly charts the development of these relationships as the health of Mr. Earnshaw declines. Hindley, his son, leaves for college. The intense bond between Heathcliff and Cathy is referred to with disapproval by Nelly, and evinced when they comfort each other on finding their father dead.
A now married Hindley returns to the Heights as master, taking advantage of his power to seek revenge on Heathcliff. Catherine and Haethcliff grow ever more closer and rebellious, but are separated when Catherine is hurt in a scrape on the moors. She stays at the adjacent Thrushcross Grange until recovered.
Catherine returns to Wuthering Heights after five weeks. While she has been away, Hindley has further degraded Heathcliff, and coupled with Catherines transformation into a lady, the boy feels depressed and isolated. H e proclaims his intention to get back at Hindley for his treatment by him. The chapter closes with a short conversation between Nelly and Lockwood which reminds us this story is not being told to us first-hand.
Hindleys son Hareton is born, but the death of Frances, his wife, propels him towards violence and self- destruction. Edgar Lintons relationship with Cathy is introduced. Heathcliff is resentful and the tension escalates between the two young men.
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