The Fox, written by D.H. Lawrence chronicles the life of two women at the beginning of the 1920’s: Banford and March. Banford is a small, delicate and physically weak woman with spectacles and ‘itdid not look as if she would marry’. In contrast there was March, who was ‘more robust’ and ‘would be the man about the place’. The two spinsters owned a farm and worked it alone. It could be arguedthat they were like an old couple, used to each other’s company and undoubtedly set in their ways. The novella progresses a stage further when a young man, called Henry encroaches into their habitualstate of affairs and ‘unfortunately things did not turn out well.’
March and Banford have a unique friendship. Though the pair are so diverse in physical appearance and presence they have aninimitable sense of understanding and companionship. They live a life of seclusion and are content with their state of affairs, managing the farm. Their relationship is somewhat unusual, in the sense that theyare two women, nearing thirty, both of whom have ‘unsatisfied tendencies’; yet up to the point of Henrys intervention appear to have no relationship prospects with the opposite sex. The reader isgiven the impression that without the interference of Henry in the novella, March and Banford would have persisted in their mundane lives.
The arrival of Henry undoubtedly alters the balance of thewomens’ relationship. Initially Banford is terrified, afraid of who this visitor is and she ‘recoiled in fear’ at the sound of his footsteps. In comparison March ‘stood listening’ and with thereassurance of a gun in her hand answered the door with authority (hoping to hide her fear) in her voice. Yet as the pair listen to Henry, they are overcome by his ‘softly-vibrating’ voice and Banford takescharge, ‘seeing something boyish in the round head with i
ts rather long sweaty hair’. March on the other hand saw something in Henry that made her fell uneasy. ‘To March he was the fox’.
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