Columbine

Columbine

by

Dave Cullen

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Wayne Harris Character Analysis

Eric’s father, once a “decorated air force test pilot” who, as of the events of Columbine, had been retired from the military for twenty-three years. As a disciplinarian with his children, he was a typical military man—calculating and thoughtful—and he often kept lists or notes in his journal about Eric’s worrisome behavior, as well as the conversations and punishments that arose from Eric’s frequent troublemaking. Though he attempted to “put the fear of God” into his youngest son, he failed to see through Eric’s calculated mask of remorse to the ruthless, psychopathic interior behind it.
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Wayne Harris Character Timeline in Columbine

The timeline below shows where the character Wayne Harris appears in Columbine. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 21: First Memories
Violence and Spectacle Theme Icon
Memory, Bearing Witness, Trauma, and Testimony Theme Icon
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...states over a period of fifteen years. His friends “came and went,” and his parents Wayne and Kathy tried as hard as they could to “smooth over the disruptions.” Wayne—a military... (full context)
Chapter 24: Hour of Need
Media: Misinformation and Sensationalism Theme Icon
Though Cullen presumes that Wayne and Kathy Harris held “some ceremony for Eric,” word of it never leaked to the... (full context)
Chapter 29: The Missions
Memory, Bearing Witness, Trauma, and Testimony Theme Icon
Failure Theme Icon
...in his journal lying to them “like a fuckin salesman” to get out of trouble. Wayne Harris details Eric’s offenses and punishment in his diary—it is February 28th, 1997. Wayne brings... (full context)
Violence and Spectacle Theme Icon
Failure Theme Icon
...at Brooks’ house. Brooks’ mother continues calling the cops to inform them of Eric’s behavior. Wayne struggles with how to handle Eric’s mounting issues, and Eric continues lying to his father’s... (full context)
Chapter 35: Arrest
Failure Theme Icon
...in October of 1997 to steal locker combinations, and the boys are caught and suspended. Wayne is relieved to find that the situation will be dealt with “in-house” at Columbine, and... (full context)
Violence and Spectacle Theme Icon
...pipe bombs in the fall of 1997. Eric told his friends about the discovery, but Wayne Harris never wrote in his personal journal about it. Eric promised his parents he would... (full context)
Chapter 37: Betrayed
Violence and Spectacle Theme Icon
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In the wake of Eric’s arrest for theft, his parents realize he needs professional help. Wayne Harris searches for a therapist, and makes Eric an appointment for mid-February. He also plans... (full context)
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Wayne Harris works diligently to get Eric into a diversion program. Meanwhile, Eric is detonating his... (full context)
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Memory, Bearing Witness, Trauma, and Testimony Theme Icon
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Wayne and Kathy attend Eric’s intake session, too, and are surprised that on a checklist of... (full context)
Chapter 42: Diversion
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It’s difficult for Eric to fool his father Wayne. Wayne’s last entry in his journal, in April—after the orientation meeting for the diversion program—outlines... (full context)
Chapter 46: Guns
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...the man on the other end that he did not order any ammo, and neither Wayne nor the salesman ask any more questions of one another—each assumes it is a wrong... (full context)
Afterword: Forgiveness
Memory, Bearing Witness, Trauma, and Testimony Theme Icon
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...with Sue Klebold, and then, together, Linda and Tom both met with Eric Harris’s parents. Wayne and Kathy Harris “accepted” that their son had been a psychopath, and had fooled them... (full context)