The character of Lockwood functions primarily as an outsider who gradually learns the story of the Linton and Earnshaw families, allowing the reader to do the same. Lockwood is a visitor from London and is unfamiliar with Yorkshire customs. He brings with him a somewhat haughty attitude and often thinks he is superior to the people he encounters; for example, he reflects that he might be a source of temptation to Cathy since his mere presence might “cause her to regret her choice.” Lockwood is also not very self-aware; he claims to want to be alone and to be happy to have only “a solitary neighbor that I shall be troubled with.”
However, he almost immediately starts seeking out the company of the residents of the Heights, “volunteer[ing] another visit tomorrow.” even though they express no interest in getting to know him. As he interacts more with the residents, Lockwood becomes engrossed in the family history Nelly Dean shares with him, urging her to stay later and keep talking.
Lockwood’s character does not change significantly over the course of the novel: he simply reveals more of his traits that have always been evident to the reader. As a somewhat snobbish man who likes refined society, he becomes repulsed by the dark and passionate stories he hears and the isolated setting in which he finds himself. He quickly loses interest in the isolation of the moors, concluding that he “would not pass another winter her, for much.” However, Lockwood’s return to Thrushcross Grange the following autumn is also consistent with his curiosity and tendency to gossip.
He remains deeply interested in the Linton and Earnshaw families, but is also inherently self-focused, which is reflected in his final visit to the grave sites. In an effort to create closure for himself, Lockwood forms his own judgement about the final slumber of Cathy and Heathcliff, choosing to believe they are at peace even though his vision doesn’t necessarily align with what he has heard about their actual characters.
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