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Dwight is unmistakably the antagonist of the memoir, a villain who steals Jack's happy childhood right out from underneath him. Dwight is cruel, a monster whose only motivation is to degrade and defile everyone he can. The worst of Dwight's brutality is directed at Jack, who is rendered helpless by Dwight's unflinching adult authority.
Dwight mercilessly berates Jack for his every move and, at his worst, uses physical force to make his power known. Dwight derives satisfaction from exercising his power over other people, primarily Jack and Rosemary, and needs to belittle and victimize others to reassure himself that he is important. Dwight is also exceedingly deceptive and dishonest, either making various promises he cannot keep, or simply lying outright, relishing his self-serving underhandedness. This deception is best exemplified when Dwight steals Jack and Rosemary's hard-earned wages, spending the money on himself after he has assured them both that he is depositing it into their respective bank accounts.
Dwight at first appeared harmless, but it was revealed he is cruel, abusive, alcoholic, self-centered, petty, and instantly dislikes Toby and his mom. He would beat Toby up for his bad behavior.
This Boy's Life (1993) [to his new wife] Dwight Hansen: You can get it doggy-style or you can get it laying on your side. Those are your only choices. This is my house and I get to say. Got it?
Dwight Hansen: Yeah, you pull that hot shot stuff around me, and I'll break every bone in your goddamn body. You understand me? Yeah, you're in for a change, mister, a whole 'nother ball game.
Dwight Hansen: Well... You can want in one hand and shit in the other, and see which one fills first.
[When coming home] Dwight Hansen: Here I am, you lucky people!
Dwight Hansen: Liar, whore, liar, whore and you know it!
Dwight Hansen: Shut your pie hole!
Tobias 'Toby' Wolff: I'm not going! Dwight Hansen: The hell you say.
Tobias 'Toby' Wolff: I'm staying home! Dwight Hansen: You're gonna shit and fall back in it. That's all you're gonna do. Now get out here.
Dwight Hansen: You look fine. Tobias 'Toby' Wolff: I look like an idiot. Dwight Hansen: You act like an idiot. You look fine.
Dwight Hansen: This is nothing compared to what you're gonna get, dammit!
Dwight Hansen: I know a thing or two about a thing or two!
Dwight Hansen: I don't believe that crap, you know, I believe there is such a thing as a bad boy, bad clear through. It's gonna be my job to set you straight. That's right, to kill or cure. Kill or cure!
Dwight Hansen: You don't know it yet, but me and Concrete are in your blood. We'll make a man of you yet. In years to come you'll thank me. You'll remember me... me and Concrete!
Dwight Hansen: [telling Toby to punch him] Now come on! Come on! Let's go, god damn it, let's start, you little fuckin' sissy, all your god damn fuckin' life, quitter, gonna be a god damned quitter, let's go, damn you! Don't go all shy and delicate on me, you're acting as sissy as little miss Arthur Gale, you know that? And you know what I'm gonna call you, I'm gonna call you little miss Jackie Wolff. Oh my yes, oh Jackie, oh my yes, little miss Jackie Wolff, little miss Jackie Wolff... Is that what you want me to call you? Is that what you want the kids in school to call you? Come on, let's go, come on, let's do it. Oh, Jesus Christ, if you're gonna act like a... [Toby punches him]
Caroline Wolff Hansen: [interrupting Toby and Dwight fighting] Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Dwight Hansen: What's the matter, honey? Caroline Wolff Hansen: I will not referee!
Dwight Hansen: [beating Toby] Only me on this whole Earth to straighten you out, and I will do it, kill or cure. Kill or cure.
Dwight Hansen: Why, I'm so scared, I'm so scared, I'm so scared, wo-o-o!
Dwight Hansen: Hey, leopard. I said hey, leopard. I know you, leopard. I can see those spots that you can't change, leopard. Huh, leopard? Huh?
Tobias 'Toby' Wolff: Mom, you can leave too, I'm leaving, you don't have to stay here for this shit. Caroline Wolff Hansen: I don't, do I? Tobias 'Toby' Wolff: No, you don't! Caroline Wolff Hansen: I could leave with you right now, couldn't I? Tobias 'Toby' Wolff: Yes, you could. Caroline Wolff Hansen: I could walk right out that door, couldn't I? Tobias 'Toby' Wolff: Yes! Dwight Hansen: What? Caroline Wolff Hansen: I'm leaving you, Dwight.
Dwight Hansen: What about me? What about me? When is it ever Dwight's turn for some consideration? What about me? I'll tell you one thing: You'll remember me!
Dwight Hansen: Hey look it's the Hot Shot that thinks he knows everything. Buddy, what you don't know would fill a book. Edsel's a piece of shit car.
Dwight Hansen: You left the cap off the toothpaste again.
Dwight Hansen: Every time I come home, I feel the top of the TV to see if its warm, *and it always is!*
Dwight Hansen: I trade an old piece of crap for a valuable hunting dog and all you can do is piss and moan! Make your own deals from now on!
[Toby notices that his prep school application forms were in the garbage] Tobias 'Toby' Wolff: My application forms must've come today and he threw 'em away! Dwight Hansen: Hey, I thought I was helping him. Thought I save him some trouble, 'cause he got no chance of gettin' into some fancy prep school. Caroline Wolff Hansen: You always got your nose pressed up against the big shop window, haven't ya, Dwight? Dwight Hansen: What? Caroline Wolff Hansen: You're so afraid that someone else is gonna get something you never had. It's what make you mean. And you know something, Dwight? One of these days, all that meanness is gonna snap back and slap you right in the face! Dwight Hansen: Oh, I'm so scared. I'm so scared! I'm SO SCARED! Oh-oh-oh! This is all you gave me for dinner?
[Dwight steps in early from work] Pearl: Hey, what are you doing home so - Oh, Toby got the scholarship. $2,300. Dwight Hansen: Hey, Leopard. I say "Hey, Leopard". I know you, leopard. I can see those spots that you can't change, leopard. Huh, leopard? Huh? Thinks he can go to some fancy prep school to fool everybody? Well, not a chance. Not a chance. I know a thing or two about a thing or two. I sure do. I sure do. [Dwight notices an empty mustard bottle] Dwight Hansen: Who threw this away? Tobias 'Toby' Wolff: I did. Dwight Hansen: Who threw this away? You did? Why? Tobias 'Toby' Wolff: 'Cause it was empty. Dwight Hansen: [turns cross] Empty? That look empty to you? Pearl: Looks empty to me. Tobias 'Toby' Wolff: Yeah, it looks empty to me too. Dwight Hansen: [grabs Toby's neck] Hey, Mr. Hotshot, is it empty? Huh? Is it empty? Pearl: Dad! Dwight Hansen: [shoves the bottle in Toby's left eye; angry] Now, now, now, is it empty? Tobias 'Toby' Wolff: Stop! Dwight Hansen: [furious] Now. Now, Mr. Big-Time-hotshot-Prep-School fucker! Is it empty? Is it empty? Huh?
Tobias 'Toby' Wolff: No. Dwight Hansen: Good! All right. Now clean it out. Clean it OUT! Now, was it empty? Huh? Was it empty? Tobias 'Toby' Wolff: Yes! [Dwight smacks Toby in the face and a brawl begins]
Caroline Wolff Hansen: [smacks Dwight with a baseball bat] Get away from him! Get away from him or I'll kill you! What's going on here?
Tobias 'Toby' Wolff: I got this scholarship and he went nuts! He's crazy and I'm leaving!
Dwight Hansen: Great. Go! Finally! About time! About time! Go!
Tobias 'Toby' Wolff: Oh, no, no. Don't worry. I'm gone! Just give me my paper route money. Dwight Hansen: That money's "gone with the wind".
Tobias 'Toby' Wolff: No!
Dwight Hansen: That's right, I spent it all as you made it, for things that we needed! It's gone! Poof! Poof! Caroline Wolff Hansen: [furious] You know something, Dwight? It's not so much that you been dissapointing. It's that you've been consistantly dissapointing!
Dwight Hansen: Oh, fancy, fancy talk. Fancy talk for a whore. Fancy talk. Oh, yeah! I know a thing or two about a thing or two. I've got friends in this town and they tell me things. And I found out some guy down at that campaign headquarters, he found you a job in Washington, D.C. You're gonna run off with him aren't ya, Miss Whore? Aren't ya, Miss Whore?
Caroline Wolff Hansen: You are pathetic.
Dwight Hansen: Miss Whore. Liar! Liar, whore! Liar, whore! And you know it!
Tobias 'Toby' Wolff: Mom, you can leave too. I'm leaving. You don't have to stay here for this shit!
Caroline Wolff Hansen: I don't, do I?
Tobias 'Toby' Wolff: No, you don't!
Dwight Hansen: You're a liar and a whore!
Caroline Wolff Hansen: I could leave with you right now, could I?
Tobias 'Toby' Wolff: Yes, you could. Caroline Wolff Hansen: I could walk right out that door, could I?
Tobias 'Toby' Wolff: Yes!
Dwight Hansen: What?