Fast Food Nation

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A rancher whom Schlosser befriends on Colorado’s Front Range, Hank is a man Schlosser admires—committed to the land and to his job, fighting as he is against the encroachment of housing developments near his ranching property. But Schlosser is anguished to report later in the book that Hank has committed suicide, perhaps in part because of his inability to make a living for his family as an independent rancher.

Hank Quotes in Fast Food Nation

The Fast Food Nation quotes below are all either spoken by Hank or refer to Hank. 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:
Diet, Nutrition, and Food Safety Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Mariner edition of Fast Food Nation published in 2012.
Chapter 6: On the Range Quotes

Toward sunset we spotted a herd of antelope and roared after them. That damn minivan bounced over the prairie like a horse at full gallop, Hank wild behind the wheel . . . we had a Chrysler engine, power steering, and disk brakes, but the antelope had a much superior grace, making sharp and unexpected turns, bounding effortlessly . . . .

Related Characters: Eric Schlosser (speaker), Hank
Related Symbols: Ranchers
Page Number: 135
Explanation and Analysis:

In a book of economics and summarization, this is a scene of more or less pure description. Schlosser takes up Hank's story (and includes this scene of admiration for the natural beauty and power of the antelope) because Hank, he believes, is an exemplar of what he considers best in American farming: a sense of integrity, a willingness to work hard to make one's living, and a belief that ethical business practices are best for nature, the environment, and the consumer. Hank, however, is a rancher from the old guard, and most new factory farming ranch outfits do not care about the land the way he does. Factory farm companies are not invested in protecting the farms around Colorado Springs because they do not, largely, exist for the benefit of local communities. Instead, large factory farm companies are multinational, seemingly based nowhere, and they produce goods only to maximize profit and serve the bottom line.

As Schlosser will report, too, these large farming conglomerates are not kind to small business owners, and people like Hank, who try to work "the right way," are largely shut out of the industry before long - unable to provide for their families. 


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Hank Character Timeline in Fast Food Nation

The timeline below shows where the character Hank appears in Fast Food Nation. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 6: On the Range
Greed, Corporations, and “The Bottom Line” Theme Icon
Independence vs. the Social Contract Theme Icon
Bureaucracy and Complex Systems Theme Icon
Work and “The Good Life” Theme Icon
Schlosser describes his first meeting with Hank, a rancher in Colorado Springs, who takes Schlosser on a tour of his property. The... (full context)
Diet, Nutrition, and Food Safety Theme Icon
Greed, Corporations, and “The Bottom Line” Theme Icon
Independence vs. the Social Contract Theme Icon
Bureaucracy and Complex Systems Theme Icon
Work and “The Good Life” Theme Icon
...but as a means of feeding a family. In closing the chapter, Schlosser writes that Hank, the rancher whom he interviewed at the beginning of the chapter, wound up taking his... (full context)