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Is Regina from “The Little Foxes” by Lillian Hellman a Tragic Character? Essay (Book Review)

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Updated: Aug 16th, 2022

“The Little Foxes” is a classical drama play set in the 20th century. The plot mainly concerns Regina Hubbard Giddens, her family and husband (Hartley & Ladu, 1948). The woman is primarily depicted as ruthless, money-driven, and manipulative, using her meek husband as a source of income and support. While her position as a woman in the South does not give her any power to own property or have a substantial income, her approach to remedying this situation can be considered nothing if not cruel. In a plot centered on gaining money from her husband to give to her brother’s business venture, Regina supports stealing from the man and watches him die later on in hopes of inheriting his wealth. Her actions are selfish and vile, but they ultimately lead to her getting exactly what she wants.

By the end of the play, the woman is left alienated from other members of the family, her daughter refusing to support open acts of evil any longer. While Regina finally achieves the wealth and status she has longed for, human connection and good intentions are sacrificed on the way. Personally, I think that she can be considered a tragic character, although deeply flawed. Literature often explores the importance of community and connection in people’s lives, and every individual can attest to the importance of such things in life. To be deprived of a sense of belonging, be left to fend for oneself is one of the worst fates a person can suffer. Despite her having committed a number of reprehensible acts, and not having lived the most honorable life, the reader can sympathise with Regina and understand the tragedy of her life.

Reference

Hartley, L., & Ladu, A. (Eds.). (1948). Patterns in modern drama: Ibsen, Chekhov, Galsworthy, O’Neill, Kelly, Thurber, Nugent, Hellman. Prentice Hall. Web.

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"Is Regina from “The Little Foxes” by Lillian Hellman a Tragic Character?" IvyPanda, 16 Aug. 2022, ivypanda.com/essays/is-regina-from-the-little-foxes-by-lillian-hellman-a-tragic-character/.

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IvyPanda. "Is Regina from “The Little Foxes” by Lillian Hellman a Tragic Character?" August 16, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/is-regina-from-the-little-foxes-by-lillian-hellman-a-tragic-character/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Is Regina from “The Little Foxes” by Lillian Hellman a Tragic Character?" August 16, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/is-regina-from-the-little-foxes-by-lillian-hellman-a-tragic-character/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Is Regina from “The Little Foxes” by Lillian Hellman a Tragic Character'. 16 August.

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