The Harness tells about the story of Peter Randall, a respected farmer in Monterey County and a Mason who is highly regarded for his lifestyle. He is married to a sickly thin woman, Emma, who is all the more proud of her husband. When Emma died, Peter reveals that her wife has been a powerful person who was able to make him do things even if he did not agree. With her death, he says he can now do the things he likes such as planting his whole land with sweet peas because he loves their flowers and sweet smell. However, during the crop, the memories of Emma haunted him and in the end, he realized that his wife never actually died or rather her influence on him never waned.
Peter Randall is a picture of a perfect husband in the eyes of his wife and their neighbors. However, deep inside him, Randall knows he is not really the man he projects to be. He uses a harness around his belly which helps him have a good posture but he does not like that. He plants crops based on her wife’s influence. He does a lot of other things which he claims he dislikes and so, in order not to break down, he goes “on a business trip” as Emma says, to drink and visit fancy houses as the man himself reveals.
Since his wife died, Randall got rid of the harness his wife made him use. He drank wine to indicate his freedom from Emma’s grips. He planted sweet peas as he always wanted to. He often sat on his rocking chair, enjoying the sight and aroma of his crops, perhaps thinking he is now free to do whatever he likes. However, when he gathered and sold his crops, he meets his neighbor and reveals that his wife seems to live because she still has that powerful influence on him which made him worry throughout the season.