The Little Foxes

Two Paths Diverged; The Analysis of Two Female Characters in The Little Foxes College

Before women gained the right to vote in the United States, feminists hoped that the end of suffrage would give women of the future a public voice and subsequently the ability to better their lives. Most middle to upper class women in the early twentieth century were raised under the cult of domesticity where women were considered social outcasts if they did not dream of becoming the perfect housewife. Since social alienation would have been the end of these women’s lives as they understood it, the only option they had was to get married and hope that they could learn to find happiness in their roles as mothers and wives. In The Little Foxes, Lillian Hellman addresses how these women were affected by these life-long social restrictions in her characterizations of Birdie and Regina. While both characters are trapped in the cycle of social expectations that restrict them to the roles of wives and mothers, Birdie and Regina react to their predicaments in highly different manners. The comparison and contrast of these two women as wives/mothers and of their leadership roles in their households reveals the theme that women of this era were forced to either conform to the roles in which they were born into or risk being permanently...

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