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Premium Harmony


of bond in marriage
 Oh. His knees crack.. They told me she was
 He can smoke all he wants, and anywhere in the house.

Stephen King’s short tragedy Premium Harmony, presents an examination of the human condition to
critique the morality and frailty of human nature. In Premium Harmony, through the exploration of
Ray and Mary’s failing marriage, King demonstrates how the loss of trust can lead to the destruction
of a relationship and the power of human to govern the lives of other beings. It is through the
exploration of these ideas that King is able to highlight the trends that remain an issue today.

In Premium Harmony , King criticises the human fallibility of trust that can jeopardise a relationship.
It is essential to have both trust and love to ensure that a marriage stays strong and brings the best
out of those married. However in Ray and Mary’s marriage, their discontent with each other is
clearly shown in the repetition of “ But now they argue. Now they argue quite a lot… but now they
argue anyways”. The emphasis of “argue” reveals the discord between the two resulting in a failing
marriage. This is further highlighted when Ray “ thinks marriage is like a football game and he’s the
quarterbacking the underdog team”, where the use of subjective language of “underdog” shows that
their marriage is not on equal terms but rather he is the one fighting the hardest to “win” this
marriage. Their marriage is further plagued with flaws where they both lie to each other about their
obsessions that are killing them. When confronted with her addiction, Mary flustered responds “
Were you snooping?” . Her use accusative tone further emphasises the loss of trust in their
marriage, resulting in discontent and feelings of distaste towards each other. Thus, King explores the
epidemic of failing marriage as commonplace to highlight the frailty of human nature.

The fallibility of human nature to control power can lead severe repercussions and consequences on
the lives of others. Mary own a Jack Russell named Biznezz who is disliked by Ray due to the fact
that he “makes the money that pays for his food, but it’s her he’s looking at”. As Ray goes to the
shop to investigate the collapse of his wife, he locks Biz in the car. When he returns, he finds Biz
dead from the suffocating heat of which his first response is the comedic nature of the situation.
Instead of grieving for his dog, he wonders that the death of Biz “shouldn’t be funny, but is. Not
funny enough to laugh at, but funny.” The antithesis reveals the irony of the situation and further
highlights the power that Ray possess. The life and death of the dog only occurred as a thought of
Ray as “ And for the first time he thought of Biz”, depicting how Ray’s carelessness and abuse of
power lead to the dog’s death. Through Biz’s death, King conveys the fallibility of human nature to
handle power to affect other people.

King’s Premium Harmony through its tragic portrayal of the human condition, challenges the
modern day trends through exploring the frailty of the human nature. Ray’s failing marriage is a
catalyst for the lowering standards of marriage in today’s society and it is not longer a bond between
two people who love each other. Also Ray’s accidental murder of Biz shows the omnipotent power
that human possess over other trivial creatures but cannot properly manage, resulting in dire
consequences. Therefore it is through King’s understanding of human nature, that he is able to
create a tragedy to respond to how the frailty of human condition has stayed the same.

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