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Martina Cowen, Section 13

Essay 6

The Little Foxes - Alexandra

1. Relationship

Alexandra loves her mother but feels closer to her aunt Birdie. She wishes that her uncle Oscar

would treat Birdie better and it hurts her to see Birdie treated so badly. She loves her father and

wishes that he were well. She doesnt like how her mother is using him and how she treats him. She

strongly dislikes her uncles and their manipulative nature. She also does not like Leo at all. She can

see he has a temper on him (just like his father) and she does not want to marry him for fear of

ending up just like Birdie.

2. Conflict

Alexandra doesnt want to marry Leo. She doesnt like him and how he angers quickly (like when he

beat the horses). She feels that she is old enough to make her own decisions. She gets very upset

when her mother gets angry with her father. She wants her to leave him alone because of how

unwell he is. Alexandra also wants Oscar to stop treating Birdie so badly, and for Birdie to stop

relying on alcohol as a crutch. She doesnt want to go to Chicago with her mother at the end of the

play.

3. The Moment Before

Alexandra was always aware that her parents did not like each other. There was always a tension

between them. She knew that her father probably saw other women, but he was still her favourite.

When he got sick it made her upset that her mother didnt seem to care. She was so worried about

her fathers health and wellbeing.

4. Humour

There is humour in the way that Alexandra is convinced that she is old enough to make her own

decisions and not have her mother tell her what to do.

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Essay 6

5. Opposites

Alexandra despises how her mother treats her father. She cares deeply for her father and it hurts

her that her mother can be so cruel to him when he is so unwell. She is defiant at the end of the

play that her mother cannot force her to come to Chicago with her. However, she does love her

mother, as is evident by her last (and the plays last) line.

6. Discoveries

One of Alexandras discoveries is that she is old enough to take care of herself. She would have liked

someone to accompany her to pick up her father, but she did it alone. She took care of her father on

the journey home and took responsibility for him when they arrived home. She also discovers just

how nasty her mother can be and she cant believe that she would treat a sick man that way.

7. Communication and Competition

Alexandra is competing to be heard. No one will listen to her. She is caught in the middle of a huge

family dispute and all she cares about is her fathers health. She is competing with her mother and

her uncles and their desire to make money. She tries to communicate this by appealing to their

better nature and declaring that she doesnt think it fair for her mother to treat her father the way

she does.

8. Importance

The events in this play are important to Alexandra because she is becoming a woman and she is

trying to figure out what her life will be like. She dreads turning out like her aunt Birdie, but she also

does not want to be like her mother. Her true goal is to be independent, something neither her aunt

nor her mother have been able to achieve.

9. Find The Event

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Essay 6

The main event for Alexandra is the death of her father. It affects her deeply and makes her realise

that she can no longer allow other people, her mother especially, to control her life.

10. Place

The play takes place in a small Southern town in 1900. It takes place in Alexandras family home.

This is the place where she grew up. By the end of the play she realises that in order to take control

of her life, she needs to leave the house. Addie babies her, her mother tries to control her, and her

uncles want to use her for their own gain. The only way she can be an independent person is to

leave the place she grew up in.

11. Game Playing and Role Playing

Alexandra is playing the role of dutiful daughter. She does what her mother tells her to. She is very

caring towards her father, and although she dislikes how her mother treats him, she does what she

is told. However, by the end of the play, her father dead, Alexandra realises that she cannot keep

playing this game or she will never be happy.

12. Mystery and Secret

Alexandras secret is that she wants to feel grown up. However, she is scared of what being a grown

up entails. The women in her life are controlled by the men in their family. She does not want to

end up like Birdie, an abused woman who has taken to drinking. Neither does she want to end up

like her mother, a bitter, manipulative woman who despite being very intelligent, is still held back by

traditional gender roles. She longs to be her own woman and is scared that this will never happen.

The death of her father makes her realise that she has to leave home in order to escape the

possibility of being trapped.