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In paragraph 7, Joe Pervin, the eldest of the family, is compared to the massive draft horses. These are slow but strong (having a “slumberous strength” [paragraph 6]), and are in harness, as Joe will be once he marries the daughter of the steward of the nearby estate. In paragraph 20, Joe is also compared to horses because of his appearance when walking and speaking. In addition, another brother, Fred Henry (paragraph 11), is compared to horses, for he is under the control “of the situations of life,” even though he masters horses easily. Because the horses, though strong, need the external control of reins, the idea seems to be that those without love are without the strength they need to guide their own destinies.
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