Three Men in a Boat

by

Jerome K. Jerome

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Harris Character Analysis

Harris is the third of the three men and tends to be the butt of jokes more often than the other two. J. thinks “there is no poetry about Harris—no wild yearning for the unattainable,” though, of course, the reader could think the same of J. Harris fancies himself a singer and often volunteers to perform at parties, though he can never remember the words in their entirety and often up mixes up lines from different songs. Harris also suffers one of the most unfortunate incidents in the book when he is attacked by swans. It’s not clear, however—as Harris tries to remember whether there were two swans or more like thirty—whether the incident was real or just a product of Harris’ drunkenness. Like the other men, little has changed about Harris’ character by the end of the novel. He, too, is glad to get back to the warm, cosy environment of the theatre and restaurant.

Harris Quotes in Three Men in a Boat

The Three Men in a Boat quotes below are all either spoken by Harris or refer to 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 Romanticization of Nature Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of Three Men in a Boat published in 1999.
Chapter 1 Quotes

There were four of us—George, and William Samuel Harris, and myself, and Montmorency. We were sitting in my room, smoking, and talking about how bad we were—bad from a medical point of view I mean, of course.

Related Characters: J. (speaker), George, Harris, Montmorency
Page Number: 1
Explanation and Analysis:

The unanimous opinion was that it—whatever it was— had been brought on by overwork.

‘What we want is rest,’ said Harris.

‘Rest and a complete change,’ said George. ‘The overstrain on our brains has produced a general depression throughout the system. Change of scene, and absence of the necessity for thought, will restore the mental equilibrium.’

I agreed with George, and suggested that we should seek out some retired and old-world spot … some quaint-perched eyrie on the cliffs of Time, from whence the surging waves of the nineteenth century would sound far-off and faint.

Related Characters: J. (speaker), George (speaker), Harris (speaker)
Page Number: 5
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 2  Quotes

Harris said:

‘How about when it rained?’

You can never rouse Harris. There is no poetry about Harris.

Related Characters: J. (speaker), Harris (speaker)
Page Number: 11
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 10  Quotes

George said why could not we be always like this—away from the world, with its sins and temptation, leading sober, peaceful lives, and doing good … and we discussed the possibility of our going away, we four, to some handy, well-fitted desert island, and living there in the woods. Harris said that the danger about desert islands, as far as he had heard, was that they were so damp; but George said no, not if properly drained.

Related Characters: J. (speaker), George (speaker), Harris (speaker)
Page Number: Book Page 83
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 12  Quotes

We beat it out flat; we beat it out square; we battered it into every form known to geometry—but we could not make a hole in it … There was one great dent across the top that had the appearance of a mocking grin, and it drove us furious, so that Harris rushed at the thing, and caught it up, and flung it far into the middle of the river, and as it sank we hurled our curses at it.

Related Characters: J. (speaker), George, Harris
Related Symbols: Food
Page Number: Book Page 103
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 19  Quotes

‘Well,’ said Harris, reaching his hand out for his glass, ‘we have had a pleasant trip, and my hearty thanks for it to old Father Thames—but I think we did well to chuck it when we did. Here’s to Three Men well out of a boat!’ And Montmorency, standing on his hind legs, before the window, peering out into the night, gave a short bark of decided concurrence with the toast.

Related Characters: J. (speaker), Harris (speaker), George, Montmorency
Related Symbols: Food
Page Number: Book Page 169
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Three Men in a Boat LitChart as a printable PDF.
Three Men in a Boat PDF

Harris Character Timeline in Three Men in a Boat

The timeline below shows where the character Harris appears in Three Men in a Boat. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Work and Leisure Theme Icon
J., George, and Harris are smoking together, comparing their relative ailments. Harris and George say they are often prone... (full context)
Work and Leisure Theme Icon
...to discuss their various maladies. Mrs. Poppet brings them a meal, which they duly eat. Harris and George suggest that what the men really need is a proper rest, a get-away... (full context)
The Romanticization of Nature Theme Icon
George suggests that a river trip might be a better idea. Harris says this would suit him to a “T”, though he’s not sure what that “T”... (full context)
Chapter 2 
The Romanticization of Nature Theme Icon
...the moon, who loves it too, stoops down to kiss it with a sister’s kiss.” Harris interrupts, asking, “How about if it rained?” J. says, “There is no poetry about Harris.”... (full context)
The Romanticization of Nature Theme Icon
Work and Leisure Theme Icon
In this instance though, according to J., Harris has a point: putting up a tent in the rain would be difficult. People would... (full context)
Chapter 3 
Work and Leisure Theme Icon
...meet to flesh out their plans. They need to figure out what to take, and Harris suggests they make a list. The way he says it reminds J. of a story... (full context)
Work and Leisure Theme Icon
Manners, Etiquette, and Appearances Theme Icon
J. says Harris will be just like Uncle Podger when he’s older and insists he (J.) does the... (full context)
Chapter 4 
Work and Leisure Theme Icon
Manners, Etiquette, and Appearances Theme Icon
J.’s packing quickly starts to frustrate him as George and Harris keep reminding him of things he’s forgotten. This goes on for so long that, at... (full context)
Work and Leisure Theme Icon
Manners, Etiquette, and Appearances Theme Icon
George and Harris have to pack the kitchenware—and they’re just as bad as J. The other two break... (full context)
Chapter 5 
Work and Leisure Theme Icon
Mrs. Poppet, the housekeeper, wakes J. and Harris around nine o’clock, thinking they wanted to sleep in. At first, the men are annoyed... (full context)
The Romanticization of Nature Theme Icon
Manners, Etiquette, and Appearances Theme Icon
Harris and J. wait for a taxi to Waterloo station, but none of the taxi cabs... (full context)
The Romanticization of Nature Theme Icon
Harris and J. arrive at Waterloo station, where no staff member seems to know where any... (full context)
Chapter 6 
History and Heritage Theme Icon
...the plaques these pubs have put up that commemorate the occasion. He says that if Harris was suddenly leader of the country it would be more sensible to put plaques to... (full context)
The Romanticization of Nature Theme Icon
Work and Leisure Theme Icon
Suddenly there’s a commotion in the boat as Harris and Montmorency fall over. Harris is furious with J., who realizes that all this daydreaming... (full context)
History and Heritage Theme Icon
At Harris’ suggestion, J. gets out and takes the tow line to pull the boat along. Going... (full context)
Work and Leisure Theme Icon
Manners, Etiquette, and Appearances Theme Icon
Harris asks J. if he’s ever been in the maze at Hampton Court. Harris tells the... (full context)
Chapter 7 
Work and Leisure Theme Icon
Manners, Etiquette, and Appearances Theme Icon
J., Harris, and the dog pass through Molesey lock. This is one of the most popular spots... (full context)
Manners, Etiquette, and Appearances Theme Icon
...for the trip and had showed it to the others the previous week. J. and Harris agreed that it was a good fashion choice—“to frighten the birds away”. (full context)
Work and Leisure Theme Icon
History and Heritage Theme Icon
Back in the present, Harris tells J. that he wants to get out at Hampton Church to see the grave... (full context)
Work and Leisure Theme Icon
Back in the present day, Harris is still insisting that they go to see Mrs. Thomas’ grave at Hampton Church. J.... (full context)
Chapter 8 
The Romanticization of Nature Theme Icon
Manners, Etiquette, and Appearances Theme Icon
...the notice boards and hammer them over the heads of those that put them up. Harris says he’d also burn down their houses and slaughter their families, which J. thinks is... (full context)
Manners, Etiquette, and Appearances Theme Icon
Harris says he would go and sing comedy songs on the ruins of the aforementioned property... (full context)
Work and Leisure Theme Icon
Manners, Etiquette, and Appearances Theme Icon
...boat continues up the river, passing picturesque and historic sights along the way. J. and Harris arrive at Weybridge, where they spot George and his loud blazer on the bridge. He... (full context)
Chapter 9 
Work and Leisure Theme Icon
J. and Harris make George pull the tow-line, and J. complains to the reader about the way tow... (full context)
Chapter 10 
The Romanticization of Nature Theme Icon
Work and Leisure Theme Icon
Manners, Etiquette, and Appearances Theme Icon
...it immensely difficult to put up the canvas because it keeps coming undone. George and Harris get stuck in it, and J. has to help them out. After a long struggle... (full context)
Work and Leisure Theme Icon
...before each complaining to each other that they have been chucked out of their bed. Harris says that his father used to tell the same story. (full context)
Chapter 11 
The Romanticization of Nature Theme Icon
Work and Leisure Theme Icon
George and J. wake up Harris. The men had previously agreed to jump in the river for an early morning swim.... (full context)
The Romanticization of Nature Theme Icon
Harris suggests he makes the group some scrambled eggs, for which he claims to be famous.... (full context)
Chapter 12 
The Romanticization of Nature Theme Icon
...lunch, the three men realize that they’ve forgotten to bring any mustard. Both J. and Harris say they would do anything just for a little mustard to go with their food. (full context)
The Romanticization of Nature Theme Icon
Manners, Etiquette, and Appearances Theme Icon
...realize they haven’t packed a tin-opener. They try frantically to get the tin open, with Harris cutting himself on his pocket-knife in the process. They get so mad that they end... (full context)
Chapter 13 
Manners, Etiquette, and Appearances Theme Icon
The men stop for lunch, and Harris proceeds to carve up the beefsteak pie that they are looking forward to eating. Suddenly... (full context)
Chapter 14 
The Romanticization of Nature Theme Icon
...opportunity to show “could be done up the river in the way of cooking,” with Harris inspired to make a big, hearty meal. He decides to make an Irish stew. (full context)
Work and Leisure Theme Icon
George and J. decide to head into Henley for some drinks, but Harris stays behind with an upset stomach. When George and J. head back, neither can quite... (full context)
The Romanticization of Nature Theme Icon
George and J. find the boat, and Harris is in a strange state, more than just merely tired. He seems like something serious... (full context)
Chapter 15 
Work and Leisure Theme Icon
Manners, Etiquette, and Appearances Theme Icon
...the man turned around and they realized he was a stranger. Something similar happened to Harris once, when a complete stranger pushed him under water from behind, mistaking Harris for a... (full context)
Chapter 17 
Manners, Etiquette, and Appearances Theme Icon
...George go for a walk in Wallingford, stopping for a drink at an inn afterwards (Harris has gone off for a shave). Here the locals show them a huge trout encased... (full context)
Chapter 19 
Manners, Etiquette, and Appearances Theme Icon
...weather they’ve been having, and that nature is beautiful even when it’s raining. J. and Harris try especially hard to put on a brave face, singing songs about “gipsy life.” George... (full context)
Work and Leisure Theme Icon
Manners, Etiquette, and Appearances Theme Icon
...a damp boat, contracted rheumatic fever and before too long died in agony. This reminds Harris of a friend of his, who had similarly gone to sleep somewhere damp and woke... (full context)
Manners, Etiquette, and Appearances Theme Icon
...Black Eyes, which suddenly seems to the men like an incredibly sad song. J. and Harris hold back tears as they listen, before joining in with the choruses. They decide it... (full context)
Work and Leisure Theme Icon
Harris imagines what it would be like back in London, at their favorite theatre, the Alhambra.... (full context)
The Romanticization of Nature Theme Icon
Manners, Etiquette, and Appearances Theme Icon
...smell of the wine, the attentive waiter—all of these make the men feel at home. Harris gazes out at the window at the rain falling in the street. He proposes a... (full context)