Sweat

by

Lynn Nottage

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Hank was Tracey’s husband and Jason’s father. He passed away prior to the events that take place in 2000; it’s implied that he was killed in a work-related accident at Olstead’s Steel Tubing, where Tracey and Jason still work. As Tracey and Jason are ganging up on Oscar for taking temporary hours at Olstead’s while they’re locked out of the plant, Tracey asks Jason what Hank would have done in this situation in order to provoke Jason into physically attacking Oscar—an assault that culminates in Stan being inadvertently hit in the head and permanently disabled. In this way, though Hank is only mentioned a few times in the play, his memory is a catalyst for the play’s central tragedy, exemplifying how grief can be a destructive force that drives people to act impulsively.
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Sweat PDF

Hank Character Timeline in Sweat

The timeline below shows where the character Hank appears in Sweat. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 2, Scene 3
Working-Class Disillusionment Theme Icon
Relationships, Status, and Resentment Theme Icon
Economic Strain and Race Relations Theme Icon
Tracey begins to reminisce about their trip to Atlantic City with Brucie and Hank for Cynthia’s 25th birthday, when a drunken Cynthia viciously dug her nails into the fake... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 6
Working-Class Disillusionment Theme Icon
Shame, Regret, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...physical baggage when they stay in one place for too long. Stan knew Jason’s dad, Hank, and he recalls that Olstead’s took his life too early. Jason says that if things... (full context)
Working-Class Disillusionment Theme Icon
Relationships, Status, and Resentment Theme Icon
Economic Strain and Race Relations Theme Icon
...Jason to sit down, and Jason does. But then, Tracey makes a comment about what Hank would do if he were here, and Jason balls up his fists. Oscar walks back... (full context)