In the Skin of a Lion

Rowland Harris Character Analysis

Commissioner Harris believes in the beauty of his work and trusts that the projects he is in charge of, such as the construction of the Bloor Street Viaduct and the waterworks, will be glorious additions to the city of Toronto. Despite these lofty ambitions, Harris proves indifferent to the plight of the many workers whose lives he presides over. He prefers to invent excuses for the workers’ exploitation than to actually confront the problem head-on.

Rowland Harris Quotes in In the Skin of a Lion

The In the Skin of a Lion quotes below are all either spoken by Rowland Harris or refer to Rowland Harris. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of In the Skin of a Lion published in 1987.
Part 3: Chapter 2: Maritime Theatre Quotes

- You watch, in fifty years they’re going to come here and gape at the herringbone and the copper roofs. We need excess, something to live up to. I fought tooth and nail for that herringbone.

- You fought. You fought. Think about those who built the intake tunnels. Do you know how many of us died in there?

- There was no record kept.

Related Characters: Patrick Lewis (speaker), Rowland Harris (speaker)
Related Symbols: Dynamite
Page Number: 236
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other In the Skin of a Lion quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!

You must realize you are like these places, Patrick. You’re as much of the fabric as the aldermen and the millionaires. But you’re among the dwarfs of enterprise who never get accepted or acknowledged. Mongrel company. You’re a lost heir. So you stay in the woods. You reject power. And this is how the bland fools – the politicians and press and mayors and their advisers – become the spokesmen for the age.

Related Characters: Rowland Harris (speaker), Patrick Lewis
Related Symbols: Dynamite
Page Number: 238
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Get the entire In the Skin of a Lion LitChart as a printable PDF.
In the skin of a lion.pdf.medium

Rowland Harris Character Timeline in In the Skin of a Lion

The timeline below shows where the character Rowland Harris appears in In the Skin of a Lion. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: Chapter 2: The Bridge
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
During the bridge’s construction, Commissioner Harris always comes to look at the bridge in the evening. Harris has dreamed of this... (full context)
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
Literature, Imagination, and Creativity Theme Icon
Harris enjoys seeing the bridge at night because it allows him to concentrate on its general... (full context)
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
Watching the nuns, Harris concludes that they must have lost their way at night and become attracted by the... (full context)
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
Even though Commissioner Harris has never spoken to Nicholas Temelcoff directly, he sees how Temelcoff listens attentively to the... (full context)
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
Community and Immigrant Culture Theme Icon
...him that performing physical tasks. He also proves particularly knowledgeable about people’s movements, recognizing Commissioner Harris by his walk and his expensive coat, which costs more than the sum of five... (full context)
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
...landscape of the valley better than anyone else, even the engineer, the architect, and Commissioner Harris, as though Nicholas were a bird. He looks around him and longs for the absent... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 1: Palace of Purification
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
Above ground, Commissioner Harris organizes the excavations and the variety of elements that make up the waterworks, provided by... (full context)
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
Literature, Imagination, and Creativity Theme Icon
Although Harris has sent the photographer Arthur Goss in the tunnels, he has never been there himself,... (full context)
Part 3: Chapter 2: Maritime Theatre
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
...the waterworks, the police and the army began to guard buildings to protect from attacks. Harris established a security parameter and was the only person inside the building at night. Comfortable... (full context)
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
When Harris hears a sound that he does not recognize as the machine’s ordinary noise, he walks... (full context)
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
Community and Immigrant Culture Theme Icon
When Patrick enters Harris’s office some time later, the Commissioner sees him walk in, though Patrick is unrecognizable, covered... (full context)
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
After thinking for a while, Harris begins to speak, explaining that he has worked hard to arrive at his current position,... (full context)
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
Patrick then asks Harris to turn the light off, because the darkness makes him feel more awake. Harris tells... (full context)
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
Love and Family Theme Icon
Patrick interrupts Harris’s speech to tell him about Alice Gull’s death. When Harris mentions that she was killed... (full context)
The Working Class vs. the Rich Theme Icon
When Patrick goes quiet, Harris calls out to him. In the darkness, Harris realizes that Patrick swam all the way... (full context)