Comparing Death In The Harness And The Long Valley

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Rhea Crawford Prof. Ferderle English 1 July 23, 2013 Death Changes Everything John Steinbeck is a very deep and inspirational author. The way he describes a scene and the way he makes his characters believable is amazing. Steinbeck has written many stories but the ones in particular are “The Harness” and “The Murder” from The Long Valley. These two stories are very alike, but very different. They both take place in Monterey County and the characters are all alike. In both stories a tragedy of death occurs on a loved one. The reactions to these deaths are what make these stories unique. While certain people die at a certain time for a certain reason, death can affect people differently. In “The Harness”, Peter Randall was one of the…show more content…
He is ashamed of her foreign family and remembers with disgust how Jelka's father advised him on their wedding night to beat her once in a while, Their Marriage is not a nor mal because Jelka is quiet and spends her time making Jim's happy and taking care of the house. Jim's hot dinner is waiting no matter what time he comes in from the fields. Also, Jim makes no emotional connection with her and eventually looks elsewhere for companionship. Therefore, after a year of being bored with Jelka, Jim starts to long for the company of silly, chatty women and begins to go to the "Three Star," which is a brothel in Monterey where he often amused himself prior to his marriage. One particular Saturday night Jim decides to go to town and is meets his local farmer who tells him he found a slaughtered calf's remains with Jim's brand upon the hide. Jims starts worrying about his herd so he goes to check it out. After he sees everything is all good, he goes back home but finds another horse tethered in his barn. He immediately grabs his gun and sneaks in the house but finds Jelka in bed with one of her cousins. In a rage, Jim shoots Jelka' cousin in the head and runs out of the room and rides away into the night. The next day Jim returns along with a deputy sheriff and the coroner. The deputy sheriff assures Jim the murder charges against him will be dropped. Once alone, Jim goes back into the barn and beats Jelka with a bull whip as "bad as he could without killing her" (133). Jelka, who seems mildly pleased with the beating, retreats into the house to make breakfast. Jim joins her and tells her they will build a new house further down the canyon. The story ends with Jelka seeking reassurance from Jim that he will beat her

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