The Little Foxes by Lillian Hellman

Summary of the work - Sykalo Eugen 2023

The Little Foxes by Lillian Hellman

The Little Foxes is a classic American play written by the legendary playwright Lillian Hellman. It was first performed on Broadway in 1939 and has since become a staple of American theater. This riveting drama is set in the South during the turn of the twentieth century and explores the theme of greed and its destructive power. The play is divided into three acts, each of which reveals a different aspect of the Hubbard family's greed and their unscrupulous business practices.

Act One introduces us to the Hubbard family, a wealthy and influential family in their small town. The matriarch of the family, Regina Hubbard Giddens, is determined to be a part of a business venture to build a cotton mill in their town. She will stop at nothing to get her share of the profits. Regina manipulates her two brothers, Ben and Oscar, to invest in the mill while also trying to convince her husband, Horace Giddens, to invest as well. However, Horace is not interested in the business and instead wants to invest in a hospital for the town. Regina becomes angry at Horace's refusal and begins to plot against him.

Act Two shows us the true colors of the Hubbard family. We see the lengths they will go to in order to get what they want. Regina's daughter, Alexandra, returns home from school and begins to see the ugliness of her family's actions. She learns that her mother and uncles have been stealing from Horace and that they are planning to cheat him out of his share of the profits from the cotton mill. Alexandra is disgusted by her family's greed and decides to side with her father.

Act Three is the climax of the play. Horace confronts Regina and her brothers about their actions and reveals that he has changed his will, leaving his money to Alexandra instead of Regina. Regina becomes enraged and poisons Horace, killing him. In the end, Regina is left alone, with only her greed to keep her company.

The Little Foxes is a powerful play that exposes the dark side of human nature. Hellman's use of language and dialogue is masterful, and the plot is full of twists and turns that keep the audience on the edge of their seats. The play is a commentary on the American Dream and how the pursuit of wealth can corrupt even the most innocent of people.

The play is set in a time period when the country was still rebuilding itself after the Civil War. It shows the effects of that war on the South and how it affected people's morals and values. The Hubbard family is a representation of the greed and corruption that was rampant during that time period. The play is a reminder of what can happen when people abandon their principles and give in to their base desires.

The Little Foxes is a must-read for anyone interested in American literature and the human condition. It is a timeless classic that still resonates with audiences today. The play has been adapted into multiple films and has been performed on stages all over the world. It is a testament to the power of storytelling and the enduring legacy of one of America's greatest playwrights.