Fantastic Mr. Fox

Fantastic Mr. Fox Literary Elements


Adventure, Magical Realism

Setting and Context

Near the present day, in the British countryside. Most of the story takes place on farms or underground.

Narrator and Point of View

The narrator is an unseen character, as the book is relayed in the third person. This allows both inner thought and outside speech to be observed by the reader.

Tone and Mood

Humorous, exciting, whimsical

Protagonist and Antagonist

Mr. Fox is the protagonist, and he is on a quest to embarrass the farmers and provide for his family. Boggis, Bunce, and Bean are the antagonists. They are all farmers, whose greed makes them want to kill Mr. Fox.

Major Conflict

Fox is trying to steal food from the farmers to feed his family and friends. The farmers are fed up with this and hatch a plot to capture and kill Mr. Fox.


The three farmers dig up Mr. Fox’s burrow with an excavator, forcing Mr. Fox and his family to make a daring escape. The trio of farmers then lie in wait for the Fox family, causing a tense standoff.


The farmers frequently scheme about capturing Mr. Fox, and this foreshadows their eventual plot. Additionally, their use of excavators and spades foreshadows Mr. Fox's escape underground by burrowing.


There are no major understatements in Fantastic Mr. Fox.


There are no major allusions in Fantastic Mr. Fox.


The imagery of the farmers provides a large amount of humor and insight into the story. Boggis and Bunce are both grotesquely overweight, which represents their gluttony and greed. Conversely, Bean is painfully thin, to represent his miserly personality.


The animals in the story are far more human than the humans, who are controlled by an animal greed.


There are many parallels between Fantastic Mr. Fox and other classic underdog stories, such as triumphing in the face of adversity.

Metonymy and Synecdoche



The story is filled with personification. Many of the characters are non-human animals. These animals have distinctly human traits, such as the ability to talk fluently, and possess personality traits. They are more human than animal, which is humorous, because the three human farmers can seem animalistic at times.