Matthew Desmond

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Hypes Symbol Icon

“Hype” is a slang word for a drug addict used by many of the tenants profiled in the book. The tenants regularly complain about hypes for two main reasons. The first is that they are associated with community degradation and crime. Living next to a house filled with hypes is considered a highly undesirable situation, and many of the tenants find themselves in this position only after eviction has removed their housing situation beyond their control. The second reason people complain about hypes is because many of them are willing to perform temporary, informal labor for very little money. Landlords like Quentin and Sherenna turn to crews of hypes to fix up properties, clean out vacant apartments, scrap metal, and do other occasional tasks in exchange for small amounts of cash. This drives down the amount of money offered to people who are less desperate because they do not have to feed an addiction, like Lamar. The exploitation of “hypes” is thus representative of the way in which wealthier people, and particularly landlords, manage to make huge profits out of the poverty and depravation of the inner city.

Hypes Quotes in Evicted

The Evicted quotes below all refer to the symbol of Hypes. 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:
Poverty, Exploitation, and Profit Theme Icon
Chapter 14 Quotes

But for the most part, tenants had a high tolerance for inequality. They spent little time questioning the wide gulf separating their poverty from Tobin's wealth or asking why rent for a worn-out aluminum-wrapped trailer took such a large chunk of their income. Their focus was on smaller, more tangible problems […] Most renters in Milwaukee thought highly of their landlord. Who had time to protest inequality when you were trying to get the rotten spot in your floorboard patched before your daughter put her foot through it again? Who cared what the landlord was making as long as he was willing to work with you until you got back on your feet? There was always something worse than the trailer park, always room to drop lower.

Related Characters: Ned Kroll (speaker), Tobin Charney, Pam, Scott
Related Symbols: Hypes
Page Number: 182
Explanation and Analysis:
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Hypes Symbol Timeline in Evicted

The timeline below shows where the symbol Hypes appears in Evicted. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 10: Hypes for Hire
Poverty, Exploitation, and Profit Theme Icon
Inequality, Injustice, and Discrimination Theme Icon
Housing as a Human Right Theme Icon
Community and Interconnection Theme Icon
Hopelessness and Lack of Choice Theme Icon
...so many desperate people around that there are many who would do it cheaper, including hypes (addicts). Lamar complains that “hypes done messed up everything.” (full context)
Chapter 14: High Tolerance
Poverty, Exploitation, and Profit Theme Icon
Community and Interconnection Theme Icon
Hopelessness and Lack of Choice Theme Icon
...same week, the electricity goes out and he is fired, replaced by a group of hypes who will work for next to nothing. He knows that these dire circumstances make him... (full context)