The Green Mile

The Green Mile

by

Stephen King

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Green Mile can help.

Harry Terwilliger Character Analysis

A regular guard on E block, Harry tries to warn Paul about not causing Percy trouble, so that he might not lose his job. He is a responsible guard, and he does not hesitate to take part in dangerous activities, lending his car for Coffey’s escape and confronting warden Moores on the steps of his house while Moores points a shot-gun at the guards. He makes a significant mistake when he is put in charge of Wharton’s transfer from the hospital to the prison, as he assumes that Wharton is sedated without ever thinking that the man might be pretending—a mistake that leads to Wharton almost strangling Dean to death.
Get the entire The Green Mile LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Green Mile PDF

Harry Terwilliger Character Timeline in The Green Mile

The timeline below shows where the character Harry Terwilliger appears in The Green Mile. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: Chapter 2
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...block, many of whom are temporary guards known as “floaters.” The regulars include Dean Stanton, Harry Terwillinger, Brutus Howell (nicknamed “Brutal” because of his size, despite his utter gentleness), and, finally,... (full context)
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
One day, Percy and Harry walk in with John Coffey, an extremely muscular, six-foot-eight-inch tall black man whom Paul compares... (full context)
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...in John’s cell to talk with Coffey, as he does with all new inmates, but Harry is nervous Coffey might do something to hurt him. To assuage his colleague’s fears, Paul... (full context)
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
When Harry comes to unlock John’s chains, Paul realizes that Harry is no longer afraid of John.... (full context)
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...Paul impulsively decides to offer Coffey his hand, a gesture that surprises both him and Harry. Coffey shakes it gently and, after Paul has stepped out of the cell, Coffey sits... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 3 
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
As Paul and Harry walk back toward Paul’s office, Harry warns Paul that he is likely to get into... (full context)
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
When Paul asks what his colleagues think about John Coffey, both Harry and Dean concur that he will not bring trouble, agreeing that he is very big... (full context)
Part 1: Chapter 7
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...gotten into the prison. Three nights later, however, the mouse appears again, this time during Harry and Percy’s shift. Moved by rage and violence, Percy chases the mouse down the Green... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 3
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
Harry gives the mouse a bit of cinnamon apple and everyone laughs at the sight of... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 4
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
Racism Theme Icon
Escorted closely by Paul, Dean, and Harry, Toot enters Paul’s office, where he immediately kneels down to pray. He is still loudly... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...be shaken side to side, energetically crying out that he is frying like a turkey. Harry and Dean, though, have their backs to the chair and are not watching. They are... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 5
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
Harry and Dean load Bitterbuck onto the stretcher. The horrible smell is so strong that the... (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...approaches him (which he does not to attack Percy, but to grab the gurney). After Harry and Dean cover Bitterbuck’s body with a sheet, the guards lead the body toward the... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 7
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Racism Theme Icon
...chair. He wonders, knowing this, if the man’s twelve extra years were truly worth it. Harry, who believes that The Pres was only saved from the electric chair because he was... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 8
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
One night, the guards hear Delacroix laughing in his cell and, when Paul hears that Harry is laughing, too, he goes to Delacroix’s cell to see what is happening. Delacroix tells... (full context)
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...He offers to help Delacroix purchase it and fill it with cotton. When he leaves, Harry and Paul wonder what could explain Percy’s sudden lack of aggressiveness. (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 9
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
A few days later, Harry brings Delacroix some Crayola crayons he has found in the restraint room, so that Delacroix... (full context)
Part 2: Chapter 11 
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
...into E block, Dean explains that they all thought Wharton was sedated from hospital drugs. Harry agrees, and even Percy grudgingly nods to confirm. Brutal glances at Paul and the two... (full context)
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
...explain what happened. Seven guards are in charge of picking Wharton up from the hospital. Harry, in charge of the operation, tries to get Wharton to put on his prison uniform,... (full context)
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
...prison, the extra guards stay in the vehicle and, as they exit the car, only Harry, Dean, and Percy are in charge of the prisoner. In a formation of three—Dean and... (full context)
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
...the chain that hangs between his wrists. While Wharton is screaming and yelling, choking Dean, Harry tries to hit Wharton but does not think of drawing his baton or his pistol.... (full context)
Part 3: Chapter 5
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
The next day, Wharton pees on Harry’s pants from inside his cell and is sent to the restraint room as punishment. When... (full context)
Part 4: Chapter 5
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
...to hit Percy and makes him promise again to apply to transfer to Briar Ridge. Harry threatens that, if Percy doesn’t, they would give him over to Wharton—explaining that, since Percy... (full context)
Part 4: Chapter 9
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Paul calls Brutal, Dean, and Harry to invite them for lunch, noting that neither of them seem sleepy, which means that... (full context)
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...Paul reveals the second part of his plan and the men smile at his idea. Harry nevertheless raises the objection that Percy could talk about what happened. Paul says Percy would... (full context)
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...notes that it would be impossible to get a man of Coffey’s size inside it. Harry then offers the  use of his pick-up truck. (full context)
Part 5: Chapter 2
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
Harry asks what Paul’s second clue was. Paul refers to the moment when the search party’s... (full context)
Part 5: Chapter 4
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
...a heating pad at the infirmary for his back, and Dean almost winks at him. Harry arrives and confirms that his truck is ready. (full context)
Part 5: Chapter 5
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...Coffey is watching, standing up against his cell’s door, Brutal grabs the straitjacket and Paul, Harry, and Brutal walk up the Green Mile toward Paul’s office. (full context)
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...their assertion that they only want to talk to him, he tries to run away. Harry blocks him and Brutal reveals the straitjacket. Percy tries to run again but Harry stops... (full context)
Part 5: Chapter 6
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...tunnel, Paul opens the steel gate with a special key and, farther down, Coffey helps Harry open the bulkhead. The men enter a cold, April night and Coffey catches a dead... (full context)
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
When they finally find the car, Harry and Brutal sit in the front while Paul sits in the back with Coffey, and... (full context)
Part 5: Chapter 7
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...He also worries that Hal might never let a convicted murderer inside his house. When Harry finally reaches the Moores’s driveway, Paul, whose doubts have grown considerably during the trip, wants... (full context)
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
Harry and Brutal step out the car as more lights in the house turn on, and... (full context)
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
When Harry walks over with John Coffey, Hal raises his gun and threatens to shoot. Suddenly, Melinda... (full context)
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
Unsettled by the situation, Moores begins to waver and Coffey walks up, moving Harry aside. Paul feels that the evil spirit is gone and understands that Harry was brave... (full context)
Part 5: Chapter 8
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
Harry tells Paul that it is getting late and that they should head out. Paul says... (full context)
Part 5: Chapter 9
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
When the guards reach Harry’s hidden parking spot, they help Coffey get out of the car and he almost falls... (full context)
Part 6: Chapter 2
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
...proves absolutely necessary, as Coffey looks as though he is going to die very soon. Harry goes to check that the storage room is empty and Brutal and Paul help carry... (full context)
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Harry lets Percy out of the straightjacket and Percy storms out the room. Once again, though,... (full context)
Part 6: Chapter 5
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
...complaint, deciding instead to go to the Sheriff, who made sure Wharton was violently beaten. Harry, not convinced that this serves as sufficient proof for a pattern of rape, is interrupted... (full context)
Part 6: Chapter 9
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Love, Compassion, and Healing Theme Icon
When Paul, Dean, and Harry go to Coffey’s cell, Paul gives him his official speech. Dean and Harry shake Paul’s... (full context)
Part 6: Chapter 10
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
Racism Theme Icon
...him. However, as Marjorie Detterick keeps on screaming at him, Coffey begins to cry again. Harry, too, sheds a few tears. (full context)
Death and the Death Penalty Theme Icon
Morality and Justice Theme Icon
When John sits down in the chair, Paul and Harry attach his ankles, Brutal attaches his wrists, and calls “Roll on one.” While Marjorie Detterick... (full context)