Phil Hogan, a poor tenant farmer (or sharecropper) is the antagonist in the play. He is crude and uses vulgar language. He treats his sons like slaves, and they run away. Hogan's drinking buddy is his landlord, Jim Tyrone. During one of their drinking bouts, Tyrone jokingly says he ought to throw the Hogans out. Hogan doesn't know whether Tyrone is bluffing or making a real threat, so he plots and schemes to get his daughter, Josie, and Tyrone together.