Keeping It From Harold

Learning Literature: CBSE Class IX

English Communicative (101) Literature Reader

Dear Learners

To guess Mr. Bramble’s boxing category (he weighed eight stone four) look up this table of weight categories in Boxing

Boxing is not only an organized sport but also an income for people who bet on the match outcomes. This will help you understand how serious Mr. Bramble and Jerry Fisher were about boxing championship at the National Sporting Club.

Boxing Styles and Technique will tell you more about the science and craft of boxing.

Major Percy Stokes is really the odd man out in this story. He is against boxing! Usually, the army were keen supporters of the sport. Many famous boxing champions were actually from the armed forces. Look up any of the names on this Champion List. Most are from the British Armed Forces.

Mr. Bramble has a broken nose. He must have been very rugged (macho) like most boxing champions.


Actually, most British schoolboys had their heroes among sports champions – boxing, cricket, football being sports played in most famous public schools. But even then, it was a highly controversial sport, considered vulgar by many. Here’s a description of a match:

‘a vulgar and tumultuous rabble of vagrants, drunkards, ruffian brawlers, and gambling desperadoes, no models of delicacy, gathered to booze, bet and watch bare-knuckle boxing’   –  The History of Boxing 


So now you know why they were “Keeping it from Harold” that his father was a professional boxer!

I think, Harold was the kind of a schoolboy who would grow up to become like this:
How very ‘upper class’ and ‘snooty’ and intellectual !

What a contrast with Mr. Bramble’s scene, which was more like this:
Yet – Harold springs a surprise on his parents and the reader!

I think, this is a student’s Project on the story, summarising its plot.  It’s fairly good – but P.G. Wodehouse was not known as a poet. I’ve only read one poem by him.

It’s time to see how well you have understood this chapter. Write the answers to the questions below.

Keeping It From Harold

PART A: Questions 

The questions below will help you to Read, Understand and Remember textual details – just Apply your Knowledge.

  1. What is the theme of this short story?
  2. How do you know that Mr. Bramble is a good boxer?
  3. What kind of a boy was Harold, from the viewpoint of his family?
  4. What did Harold’s parents think of boxing?
  5. Why did Harold’s father refuse to fight any more?
  6. What kind of man was Major Stokes?
  7. Why does Stokes call Mr. Bramble a ‘man of wrath’?
  8. What is Harold’s reaction when he discovers his father’s profession?
  9. What does Harold mean when he says that he has taken the trouble to study form?
  10. Do you agree that Harold was the genetic opposite of his father?

Now, all you boxing champions – counter check with these Answers-Harold

Sanjukta Sivakumar



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