Seminar paper from the year 2010 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 2,3, University of Wuppertal, language: English, abstract: 1. Introduction The following paper deals with the female characters in the play 'The little foxes', written by Lillian Hellmann in 1939. In the United States the role of women in society changed drastically in the 20th century. In the past married women were homebound and dependent on their husbands, but they became active and independent in 1900. The increasing possibilities to work outside the house led to the fact that women became wage- earners. Finally, the women's attitude to life changed dramatically. In the beginning of this paper an overview of the historical background, considering the social role of women in the 20th century, is given. Afterwards, the change of the role of women will be exemplified by the female characters of Regina, Birdie and Alexandra in 'The Little Foxes'. Especially Regina and Birdie can be seen as contrastive examples because they show in an opposite way how to deal with their powerless role in the Hubbard family.