Keeping it from Harold


P.G. Wodehouse

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Themes and Colors
Morality and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Class and Social Status Theme Icon
Pride Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Keeping it from Harold, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Morality and Hypocrisy

In “Keeping it from Harold,” the adults in ten-year-old Harold Bramble’s life are greatly concerned with morality. The fact that Harold’s father, Bill Bramble (a.k.a. “Young Porky”) boxes for a living is considered so indecent that Bill is willing to withdraw from one of the most important matches of his career to avoid confessing his double life to his precocious son—a confession, the adults believe, that would offend young Harold’s righteous spiritual principles. Yet…

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Class and Social Status

So seemingly perfect is Harold Bramble that the adults in his life fear that the truth of his father’s profession would damage his delicate sensibilities. Harold’s mother, Jane Bramble, insists that “his very perfection had made necessary a series of evasions and even deliberate falsehoods on the part of herself and her husband.” However, immediately thereafter, the story goes into greater detail about how the couple’s charade began: “While he was a baby it…

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Many of the adults in “Keeping It from Harold” profess to act selflessly. Bill and Jane Bramble, for instance, hide the truth of Bill’s boxing career from their virtuous son allegedly to save him from feeling offended or ashamed; Percy and Jerry (Bill’s trainer), for their part, insist they’re only trying to convince Bill to follow the most advantageous course for his future. However, Wodehouse shows that these supposedly noble and unselfish adult concerns…

read analysis of Pride
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