I am a first year student, Behavioural Science, Monash Uni, Melbourne Australia.
As a first year student, I obviously have a lot of work ahead and may be way of the mark here, however, could the tests Harold had be an effort to see if there was something physically 'wrong' with him, to support his feelings that his life was not "the bed of roses" he thought it was going to be. Further, did the proof of his being physically O.K. support his "built up justification" for his subsequent behaviour?
It would seem that he is looking for others to make his life better, and perhaps take the blame when things don't work out the way he would like.
I found it interesting that the person he so adores, is described as 'unselfish', this seems an unusual first discription of a loved one...why is this character trait so important to him?
I support other comments that it is important for him to be admired, e.g. in his professional capacity.
Would Harold have initiated an affair with someone not involved in his work? There seems to be no balance in Harolds life, everything is revolving around his work. Is his lover the personification of the joy and satisfaction he receives from his career?
Enough with the questions,anyway I would appreciate any advice on the above observations.