Lockwood as Voyeur in Wuthering Heights

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Erin Britt


Lockwood is absent from nearly all criticism concerning the abnormal sexuality of Wuthering Heights, where the main focus is on the relationship between Catherine and Heathcliff.  However, Lockwood exhibits traits of voyeurism, both through his actions and his own accounts, and while there are no explicit scenes of sexual expression, his voyeurism presents itself with sexual undertones.  At first, he utilizes Nelly Dean as a way to spy on Cathy Heathcliff through her storytelling, engaging with her in a type of seduction.   He then progresses to spying on her in person, telling the reader of his actions using language that objectifies her.  Lockwood also exhibits a need to establish power, as well as showing anxiety regarding his interactions with women, which are also characteristics of voyeurism.  In this way, I argue that Lockwood has a legitimate place within the abnormal sexuality of the novel. Furthermore, the lack of critical attention enables Lockwood to successfully execute his voyeurism.


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