Little Foxes Analytical Essay Essay

This essay has a total of 1963 words and 7 pages.

Little Foxes Analytical Essay




Every play written uses dramatic elements. The main dramatic elements are plot, character,
theme, and language. Lillian Hellman, who wrote the Little Foxes, incorporates these
elements beautifully in her play. The play is set during the spring of 1900 and takes
place in the Deep South part of the United States of America. Just as every other play,
the Little Foxes has included the dramatic elements in her play, particularly the plot,
character, and language that all incorporate an underlying theme of greed.


The character, which includes the physiological and psychological makeup of each person in
the play, properly incorporated the greed and oppression of the time. Ben and Oscar are
brothers who are possessive, scheming, and greedy individuals. These two characters make
the play very interesting. Both brothers' physiological makeup fit the play perfectly.
This is because Ben tires to look like a nice guy on the outside but has only one motive
that drives his character. This motive is money. He will do anything to get his cotton
mill deal to go through. Then there is Oscar. He is also a lot like Ben, but on the
surface not as nice. Because of these two characters, the rest of the characters feed of
their hatred and ulterior motives. Another character is Leo who is a weak unprincipled son
of Oscar and Birdie. This character is not emotionally strong compared to Ben or Oscar,
but still has a very well written part. Birdie is then obviously Oscar's wife. Birdie has
one of the most complex characters in the whole play. Her psychological make up is very
complex. Her character has very quick mood changes and subsequently does not seem like she
has much power in the physiological makeup of the whole group. Next, there is Regina, who
is married to Horace and a sister of Oscar and Ben. She undoubtedly has the most devious
psychological makeup of all the other characters put together. She has a very cold heart
towards her husband. This was the most thoroughly created character in the whole play
although it was also the most troubled character. Every line that she said was written for
a specific purpose and was usually only to help herself. Married to Regina is Horace.
Horace's character was a very weak and sick old man. Although his part was written
beautifully, he should have been a bit wiser to what Regina was planing. He was almost too
stereotypical of an old man to be interesting. For this reason, he became predicable by
the end of the play. There were also two servants in the house, whose parts although
small, added a real sense of the racial conflict of the time. These characters were
perfectly created with their physiological and psychological attributes that added the
extra tension for the time. Horace and Regina also had a daughter. Her name was Alexandra.
Her character was also built really well, except that she was too passive and did not
react as well as she should have while Regina mentally destroyed Horace. Lastly, there is
the brief appearance of the character named Mr. Marshall. This character although very
small was created extremely well. Just like Ben and Oscar, he had only one thing on his
mind. Although his ulterior motive was greed, he hid that very well while he pretended to
have a good time making friends with the family. Then when it came down to business, he
was very keen and right to the point. Greed.


Not only are the characters created exceptionally well, but the plot of the Little Foxes
was also very beautifully planed out and written with the underlying theme of greed
showing up throughout it. This is a major strength of the play. This play takes place in a
little picturesque home in the South of the US with a prosperous but oppressive family
during the spring of 1900. This is where the tension starts to build. The play starts out
with a family gathering. The audience finds out at the end of this gathering that Ben's
ambition is to erect a cotton mill. Ben and Oscar have two thirds of the money and are
looking for a third party to put up the rest of the money that they need. They are hoping
though that the missing money will come from Horace, who was in a hospital for the past
five months in Baltimore with a heart condition. After the dinner party, the men start to
talk about their money problems with their sister Regina and try to get her interested in
the deal. They figure that once she is hooked, that she would get Horace to come home and
they would get their money. The brothers have said that they have tried to get in touch
with Horace by writing him, but the letters Horace sends back never have anything
mentioning the money. Regina then sends her daughter Alexandra to get her dad from
Baltimore. Regina tells Alexandra that Horace is not sick anymore and is ready to come
home. Although Alexandra goes, she is still real skeptic about his condition. She still
doesn't believe that Horace is strong enough to come home. Once Horace walks into the door
at home, he is tormented by his relatives within the first hour about the cotton mill, but
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