How is Hanneh Hayyeh described in the story "The Lost Beautifulness" by Anzia Yezierska?

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booboosmoosh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Hanneh is described first as an adoring mother. The painting of her kitchen to make it a thing of beauty is done in anticipation of her son's return home from the war: she wants him to have a place that is beautiful, where he can bring his friends.

She is someone who lives and breathes the beauty she imagines and that she creates by painting her kitchen. The joy and appreciation of beauty pour out of her, and she is so thrilled that she cannot help but share it with her friends, and even her husband and the landlord.

Hanneh is a smart and committed woman of strong beliefs. She is convinced that in America, democracy will allow the rich and the poor to be equalized, in this land of opportunity; however, she has an unrealistic sense of the way the world truly is.

Hanneh is a hard worker who takes in extra laundry over a long period of time to raise the pennies required to pay for the paint she needs.

Hanneh is a fighter. When the landlord raises the rent, she begs and pleads for him to change his mind, but all he can see is the increase in rent he will get from this much-improved apartment. Hanneh takes him to court as well, but finds that the law can/will not do anything to help her.

She is passionate. The evening before she is to be evicted, Hanneh destroys the kitchen's appearance to rob the landlord of the beauty she has created so it will do him no good, but she just as surely harms herself in the process by destroying the "beautifulness" she created, which can straight from her heart. In doing this, she robs herself of the pride she had in creating such an lovely room.