Keeping it from Harold

by

P.G. Wodehouse

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Harold Bramble Character Analysis

Harold Bramble is a precocious ten-year-old boy whom his parents call “a model of goodness and intelligence.” He has won prizes for his spelling and dictation as well as his Sunday school lessons, and he spends his afternoons memorizing poetry and Scripture verses. His father Bill considers Harold “a little gentleman” and believes the boy “would die of shame” if he knew his father boxed for a living. Luckily for Bill, Harold is a “self-centred child” who doesn’t question his parents’ fiction that Bill is a salesman. However, Bill is proven wrong in believing that Harold would “die of the disgrace” at having a professional boxer for a father. In fact, the boy shocks his parents by declaring that he has “made a study” of the sport since a young age and is betting on his father as “Young Porky” to win his upcoming bout with Jimmy Murphy. If anything, Harold is dying for Bill to give him a signed picture so that he can impress all his friends and shed the nickname “Goggles.”

Harold Bramble Quotes in Keeping it from Harold

The Keeping it from Harold quotes below are all either spoken by Harold Bramble or refer to Harold Bramble. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Morality and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Strand edition of Keeping it from Harold published in 1913.
Keeping it from Harold Quotes

He cleared his throat and fixed his eyes upon the cut-glass hangings of the chandelier.

“‘Be good, sweet maid,’” he began, with the toneless rapidity affected by youths of his age when reciting poetry, “‘and let who will be clever’—clever, oh yes—‘do noble things, not dream them’—dream them, oh yes—‘dream them all day long; and so make life, death, and that vast f’rever, one’—oh yes—‘one grand, sweet song.’”

Related Characters: Harold Bramble (speaker), Jane Bramble
Related Symbols: Glass/Goggles
Explanation and Analysis:

And then Harold had come into his life, and changed him into a furtive practiser of shady deeds. Before, he had gone about the world with a match-box full of press-notices, which he would extract with a pin and read to casual acquaintances. Now, he quailed at the sight of his name in print, so thoroughly had he become imbued with the necessity of keeping it from Harold.

Related Characters: Bill Bramble (speaker), Harold Bramble
Explanation and Analysis:

“He’s seen the error of his ways,” cried Percy, the resilient. “That’s what he’s gone and done. At the eleventh hour it has been vouchsafed to me to snatch the brand from the burning. Oh! I have waited for this joyful moment. I have watched for it. I—”

Related Characters: Major Percy Stokes (speaker), Harold Bramble, Jane Bramble, Bill Bramble
Explanation and Analysis:

“Goodness knows I’ve never liked your profession, Bill, but there is this to be said for it, that it’s earned you good money and made it possible for us to give Harold as good an education as any duke ever had, I’m sure. And you know yourself you said that the five hundred pounds you were going to get if you beat this Murphy, and even if you lost it would be a hundred and twenty, was going to be a blessing, because it would let us finish him off proper and give him a better start in life than you or me ever had.”

Related Characters: Jane Bramble (speaker), Harold Bramble, Bill Bramble
Explanation and Analysis:

“There’s a fellow at our school who goes about swanking in the most rotten way because he once got Bombardier Wells’s autograph. Fellows look up to him most awfully, and all the time they might have been doing it to me. That’s what makes me so jolly sick. How long do you suppose they’d go on calling me ‘Goggles’ if they knew that you were my father?”

Related Characters: Harold Bramble (speaker), Bill Bramble
Related Symbols: Glass/Goggles
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Keeping it from Harold LitChart as a printable PDF.
Keeping it from Harold PDF

Harold Bramble Character Timeline in Keeping it from Harold

The timeline below shows where the character Harold Bramble appears in Keeping it from Harold. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Keeping it from Harold
Morality and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Class and Social Status Theme Icon
Pride Theme Icon
...simple-minded, good-natured, and whole-heartedly domestic Jane Bramble is darning a sock while her ten-year-old son Harold Bramble studies. Harold asks his mother to help him with his recitation by looking at... (full context)
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Jane urges Harold to take a break before moving on to study his Scripture and go for a... (full context)
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Harold has already won two prizes in Sunday School, and the local clergy echoes Jane’s suggestion... (full context)
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...easily agrees to conceal his career, being a mild and obliging man at heart. Before Harold was born, he’d readily allowed Jane to choose the baby’s name despite his own preferences.... (full context)
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Harold is especially intelligent compared to his rather witless parents. So intelligent is Harold, in fact,... (full context)
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...“the primrose path” of sinfulness, but Bill maintains that it was what Percy wrote about Harold that changed his mind, rather than any of Percy’s treatises. (full context)
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...never liked his career, but it’s earned them good money and allowed them to give Harold a superior education. The earnings from the upcoming fight were supposed to guarantee Harold a... (full context)
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Jane starts to cry as Bill explains that he is thinking of Harold, and how he decided not to fight after Percy pointed out that the big match-up... (full context)
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Suddenly Harold returns from his walk, and a furious Jerry seeks revenge on Bill by telling the... (full context)
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Harold unexpectedly demands to know what will happen to his bet on the match if Bill... (full context)
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Jerry praises Harold’s response, and the boy explains that he and his friends have followed boxing for years.... (full context)