For one quote that reveals Harlen’s influence on Will, check out the beginning of chapter 16. Will and Harlen are eating pizza and watching Monday Night Football. Harlen tells Will, “You get in the shower, Will, and I will find the shirt.” Will said he doesn’t need to take a shower before he meets up with Louise. Harlen replies that he smells like pizza. Will takes a shower and wears the shirt Harlen irons for him, the tie he’s picked out for him, and the shoes he’s polished for him. Will tells Harlen, “I don’t get this dressed up for work.” He wears the outfit anyway. When it comes to Will’s self-presentation, this scene shows the integral influence of Harlen.
In addition to style, Harlen flexes his influence when it comes to Will’s recreational activities. At the start of the second chapter, Harlen brings Will a basketball jersey. He wants him to play for the Medicine River Friendship Centre Warriors. Better put, he expects Will to play for the team. After all, he already has a jersey picked out for him. Will tries to resist, but Harlen won’t take no for an answer, and Will eventually gives in. When it comes to the basketball team, Harlen uses his influence to get Will to do something that he was reluctant to pursue.
In connection to business matters, Harlen holds sway as well. It’s Harlen’s idea for Will to start his own photography studio. “I’ve been thinking about you wanting to start up a photography business here in Medicine River,” he tells him. Will says he’s not interested. After he loses his job in Toronto, he does just what Harlen suggests.
That’s three quotes; for three more, try using a quote from the bridge scene with Harlen’s brother, a quote from Harlen about Will’s family, or a quote from Will about Harlen’s almost irresistible personality.