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At the same time Bernice doesn't tell her daughter the history of the heirloom, in fear of waking the spirit. This means that even Bernice is not using her legacy positively, but is afraid of it. Both characters are able to embrace their history with pride by the end of the play, as Boy Willie comes to understand the Piano's significance and Bernice begins to play it again (Sparknotes.com)
3. The Little Foxes
a. Significance of the Title
Lillian Hellman was born in New Orleans and educated at New York and Columbia University. Her first success was the play 'The Children's Hour'; she was an active part of political activities and spoke openly about her ideals. 'The Little Foxes' brought her greater fame and reflects her opinion of and her remembrances of the South (kirjasto.sci.fi).
The play is a satire or a criticism of the machinations of capitalists who live to feed of the hard work of the poor and under privileged. The story revolves around and entire family of these capitalist leeches, who are planning on starting a 'Cotton Mill' which will of course be run on the blood and sweat of the poor workers and will bring profits for them.
As she says: "There are people who eat earth and eat all the people on it like in the Bible with locusts. And other people who stand around and watch them eat."(kirjasto.sci.fi)
This line clearly shows why the word 'foxes' is part of the title, because the cruel and crafty Hubbard family is a bunch of foxes eating up whatever comes in their path. They are sly and scheming just like fox is supposed to be (enotes.com).
b. Regina's Strengths and Weaknesses
The whole Hubbard family is sly, deceitful, clever and calculating but Regina is cleverer and craftier than all of them combined. Regina and her brothers are aiming to build a Cotton Mill but are short of fund. Regina's husband Horace is a Bank governor so they ask her for the money, when Horace refuses Regina kills him by not giving him his medication. Her husband had decreased her share in the will and left her with very little money. She is ruthless, as she then threatens her brothers to give her 75% share of the mill. She makes a deal with them by guaranteeing her silence over the matter of Oscar's theft of the bonds from the bank (komisarsscoop.com). She is a character who doesn't care for anyone and shows that she can do anything for her gain and profit. She is unscrupulous and does not shy away from using her feminine wiles to seduce men and get her own way. Her brothers also call her greedy and selfish.
But even Regina is fighting back against the constraints of the society as she is not considered worthy of inheriting anything g from her father's property, as she is a woman. She has spent her life dependent on others for money and support, first her father and brothers and then her husband.
She is a determined, confident and resolute woman who wishes for independence and does all she can to gain it. For the said independence though she uses unfair and cruel ways and means.
She is a strong central character around whom the whole play revolves (Cannon, 2011).
c. Continuing the Mission of the earlier Theatre group
The mission of the theatre group was to break all barriers that stopped the black people from becoming important members of the society. They wanted to become prominent and create a name and place for themselves in the white dominant world. The group also wanted to start a black theatre which became a whooping success due to the popular plays that were staged there. Plays like 'A Raisin in the Sun', 'The Piano Lesson' etc. contributed a great deal to its success and recognition.
The earlier writers focused on creating strong female characters and spoke of freedom and the rights of women. Hansberry showed in her play a prophetic vision of what the future was like for the women. In her play Bennie is becoming a doctor which is an unusual occupation for the women of the time. She makes her characters repeat that women should support their husbands and through this highlights that a wife and mother's support is an extremely necessary thing for the success of a man. In the other play the main female lead Bernice is a strong, motherly and nurturing character.
Similarly, 'The Little Foxes' highlights the injustice being shown to women of the west in the 20th century. The writer highlights that the reason why Regina became so ruthless and calculating was the way she was treated all her life. She shows that women were always kept depending on the males and the males were the heads. Regina is tied to a crippled husband and has to look to him for support. When she can take it no longer, she protests against it by blackmailing and fooling all the men around her. This again shows how strong women can be when they are determined and resilient.
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Cannon, J. "Local Women's History Celebrated." "The Dernopolis Times." 2011. Web. 11 June, 2012.
Cliffnotes.com. A Raisin in the Sun. 2012. Web. 11 June, 2012.
Enotes.com. The Little Foxes: Introduction. 2012. 11 June, 2012. http://www.enotes.com/little-foxes
Umich.com. The Art of Social Criticism: Lorraine Hansberry's a Raisin in the Sun. Character Analysis of Walter Lee Younger. 11 June, 2012.
Gardner, E. Kennedy Center Honors Words of August Wilson. 2008. 11 June, 2012. http://www.usatoday.com/life/theater/news/2008-03-02-august-wilson_N.htm
Green, O. Review: A Raisin in the Sun. 2000. 11 June, 2012. http://www.timbooktu.com/orlgreen/raisin.htm
Kirjasto.sci.fi. Lillian Hellman. 2008. 11 June, 2012. http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/lhellman.htm
Komisar, L. Hellman's "The little Foxes" Plumbs the Greed that Tears a Family Apart. 2010. 11 June, 2012. http://www.thekomisarscoop.com/2010/10/hellmans-the-little-foxes-plumbs-the-greed-that-tears-a-family-apart/
Lewis, J.J. Lorraine Hansberry Facts. 2012. 11 June, 2012. http://womenshistory.about.com/od/aframerwriters/p/hansberry.htm
Sparknotes.com. The Piano Lesson- Summary and Character Analysis. 2012. 11 June, 2012.
Washington, J.C. "A Raisin in the Sun Revisited." "JSTOR." Vol: 22. Issue: 1, 1988. Web. 11 June, 2012. http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2904153?uid=3738832&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&sid=21100845322101[continue]
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She misrepresents the proposal of marriage of Asagai and is unable to provide the man who loves her so much and who understand her well. The complex character of Beneatha demonstrates another hidden quality towards the end of the play. The confrontation of Walter with Mr. Lindner reveals the arrogant statement of Mr. Lindner, "I take it then that you have decided to occupy." The easiness of Beneatha's reply
This is the essence of true faith. It never leaves you forever. You can curse your life but you must not abandon it or dreams will be deferred for good. Walter for example gives up his dream of becoming his own boss. He wants to be financially secure- enough to at least raise himself above the servant class. He wanted Travis to have a better future. But all his
This is similar to the specifics of the legal case that Hansberry's father became engaged in over their house in an all white neighborhood. In the real-life version of events, however, things were far less polite. Hansberry's father was actually breaking a legal covenant between property owners of the area that they would not sell to African-Americans, and Carl Hansberry was actually sued for $100,000 -- a huge sum
At the time these issues were groundbreaking topics. The play explored the decision that Ruth had to make because her economic conditions dictated that she could not afford another child. In addition, Beneatha's prospects of becoming a doctor and getting married were also explored in the play. This issue was extremely relevant at the time as some women were beginning to work outside the home. Although the play did
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In every stage and period in history, the black American is present, as demonstrated in the line of imagery repeatedly used in the poem, "My soul has grown deep like the rivers." The poem portrays the Negro as the cause rather than effect of human civilization. "The Negro" is a historical narrative of the life of the black American. Evidently, he had been present where human civilization thrived. Thus, human