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'The Fox' is a novella by D. H. Lawrence published in 1923.
Set in Berkshire, England, during World War I, 'The Fox', like many of D. H. Lawrences other major works, deals with the psychological relationships of three protagonists in a triangle of love and hatred. Without the help of any male laborers, Nellie March and Jill Banford struggle to maintain a marginal livelihood at the Bailey Farm. A fox has raged through the poultry, and although the women—particularly the more masculine Nellie—have tried to shoot the intruder, he seems always to elude traps or gunshot.
Banford and March live on a farm together because it does not look like they will marry. Although they are only in their late twenties, in that era women who were still single at their age were generally considered to have foregone the prospect of marriage. Banford is thin and frail, in contrast to her companion who is physically masculine. However particular emphasis is given to March's face, which is feminine and expressive. The women are depicted as fearful of femininity and fertility. For example, they sell a heifer before it calves.
The fox becomes a hindrance to Banford and March, but March finds she cannot hunt it, and rather, she becomes entranced by it. Shortly after this, Henry, a young man, comes to stay with the women, and a link is established between the fox and Henry.
This intriguing novella explores gender roles, sexuality, femininity, and the pity of war, as do two other Lawrence novellas written at the same time, 'The Ladybird' and 'The Captain's Doll'.
A 1967 film was made from 'The Fox', starring Sandy Dennis as Jill Banford, Anne Heywood as Ellen March, and Keir Dullea as Paul (not Henry) Grenfield.[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062990/ IMDB listing]
Category:Novels by D. H. Lawrence
Category:LGBT literature in the United Kingdom
Category:Novels set in Berkshire
Category:World War I novels
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