John Steinbeck, “The Harness”

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Originally titled “The Fool”, Steinbeck’s “The Harness” appeared in The Atlantic Monthly in June 1938 before being included in the collection entitled The Long Valley in September of the same year. The protagonist of the story, Peter Randall, is depicted by Steinbeck as one of the most admirable men in the Salinas valley, an individual who seems wise in business and personal judgment and whose strong character is reflected in his upright and unbending physical posture. His neighbors often follow Randall’s personal decision making, mirroring his actions because they consider it as a good, safe conservative thing to do.

Peter and his wife Emma are childless, but the pristine condition of their homestead and their rigid marital “bliss” are flawed by Emma’s constant ill

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Citation: Meyer, Michael J.. "“The Harness”". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 December 2008 [, accessed 08 December 2023.]

25830 “The Harness” 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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