Keeping it from Harold

by

P.G. Wodehouse

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Jane Bramble Character Analysis

Jane Bramble is Harold’s mother and Bill’s wife. Described as both dim-witted and good-tempered, she is also exceptionally proud of and utterly devoted to her son. Jane wants to give Harold “a better start in life” than she or Bill ever had, and as such is self-conscious about her husband’s allegedly uncivilized profession as a boxer—even as she understands that this profession allows her to live in comfort with servants doing most of the domestic labor, and to provide her child with “as good an education as any duke ever had.” She usually domineers over her mild-mannered husband, overruling his ideas for naming their son, for instance, and being the first to suggest that they hide his career from the boy. However, she cannot change Bill’s mind when he decides to withdraw from a big match before Harold could read possibly about it in the newspaper.

Jane Bramble Quotes in Keeping it from Harold

The Keeping it from Harold quotes below are all either spoken by Jane Bramble or refer to Jane 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:

“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:
Get the entire Keeping it from Harold LitChart as a printable PDF.
Keeping it from Harold PDF

Jane Bramble Character Timeline in Keeping it from Harold

The timeline below shows where the character Jane 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
The 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... (full context)
Morality and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Class and Social Status Theme Icon
Pride Theme Icon
Jane urges Harold to take a break before moving on to study his Scripture and go... (full context)
Morality and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Class and Social Status Theme Icon
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Harold has already won two prizes in Sunday School, and the local clergy echoes Jane’s suggestion about keeping the truth of Bill’s job from the boy for his own good. ... (full context)
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...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. It is near impossible to not... (full context)
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...compared to his rather witless parents. So intelligent is Harold, in fact, that Bill and Jane are intimidated by him, considering him to be of a “superior order.” He excels in... (full context)
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Jane, still darning socks, thinks happily of Bill’s plans to retire after his next big match... (full context)
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Jane still doesn’t understand what’s going on and demands a straight answer from Bill. Finally, Bill... (full context)
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Jane starts to cry as Bill explains that he is thinking of Harold, and how he... (full context)
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...rushes toward Percy. Percy dives under the table “like a performing seal” while Bill and Jane tell Jerry not to act so rudely. Jerry manages to restrain himself while he pleads... (full context)
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...“Goggles.” Jerry and Bill return to the gym, and Harold resumes practicing his recitation with Jane. (full context)