In Kent Haruf's Plainsong, are there any differences between the two McPheron brothers, or are they interchangeable in the novel?
In Plainsong the McPheron brothers seem to act as a unit. In fact, they are most often referred to in the plural, rather than individually. Harold and Raymond have been living together for so long, isolated from others, doing farm work that they can be viewed interchangeably, like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in Hamlet. When they take in Victoria Roubideaux and provide her a home after her mother cast her out, they both treat her with awkward respect. Their bafflement as to how to handle her provides some of the more comic moments in the novel. Victoria disrupts the lives of these strong, taciturn, gentle older men, and they are much richer for it.