The Lonely Londoners

One of Moses’s friends. A black immigrant like Moses, Harris likes to try to present himself as an Englishman, dressing in the style of a distinguished white gentleman and throwing “fetes” for high-society white people. The narrator writes, “Harris is a fellar who like to play ladeda, and he like English customs and thing, he does be polite and say thank you and he does get up in the bus and the tube to let woman sit down, which is a thing even them Englishmen don’t do.” Whereas Harris’s fellow immigrants speak creolized English, he himself makes an effort to speak as if he were born in London. When he hosts a large party, he’s distraught that his black friends show up at the door, fearing they’ll ruin the atmosphere by behaving inappropriately in front of the white guests. Five Past Twelve takes special pleasure in provoking Harris, disingenuously promising to not disrupt the party but clearly intending to do just that. Interestingly enough, the more distracted and flustered Harris grows during the course of the party, the more he forgets to maintain his British way of speaking, suddenly slipping into creolized English for a moment before catching himself.
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Harris Character Timeline in The Lonely Londoners

The timeline below shows where the character Harris appears in The Lonely Londoners. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Section 10
Racism Theme Icon
Immigration and Community Theme Icon
Upward Mobility Theme Icon
A hard partier, Five is Harris’s worst nightmare. Harris is a black immigrant who tries to present himself as a distinguished... (full context)
Immigration and Community Theme Icon
Before entering the party, Five slyly tells Harris to see him afterward so that the two of them can share a “puff.” At... (full context)
Immigration and Community Theme Icon
As the dancing begins, Harris makes his way to the guest of honor’s table, making small talk with one of... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Immigration and Community Theme Icon
After dancing with Tanty, Harris rushes over to Moses and tells him Five is misbehaving, but Moses insists that he’s... (full context)
Racism Theme Icon
Immigration and Community Theme Icon
Exhausted, Harris joins Moses and the others at the bar and orders a lemonade. Forgetting to use... (full context)