What Do I Read Next?
In Another Part of the Forest, the "prequel" to The Little Foxes, Hellman jumps back 20 years to show the genesis of the family revenge cycle. It portrays a dominating father (Marcus) whom Ben blackmails (with evidence of Marcus's betrayal of neighbor soldiers during the Civil War) to obtain full ownership of his estate, leaving Regina and Oscar virtually penniless.
Hennk Ibsen's play A Doll's House (1879) was a model of social realism for Hellman. In it a dutiful wife leaves her husband when she discovers that he has never seen her as a human being, but as little more than a doll.
All My Sons, the 1947 play by Hellman's contemporary and rival Arthur Miller, portrays Joe Keller, a manufacturer who knowingly ships defective airplane parts that kill twenty—two American pilots in World War II, and lets his partner take the jail sentence for it.
In Arthur Miller's play Death of a Salesman (1949), Willie Loman sacrifices his integrity for expected riches.
The son of Big Daddy, the wealthy cotton plantation owner of Tennessee Williams's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1955), turns to alcoholism rather than follow in his father's footsteps in this intense drama.
Aeschylus's Orestiea, a Greek trilogy concerning a family's heritage of malice and revenge is a fine representative of Greek tragic theater.
Historian Edward L. Ayers's Southern Crossing: A History of the American South, 1877-1906 (Oxford University Press, 1995), is a concise account of the daily, public, and cultural life in the South during the years from post-Reconstruction into the Progressive period, including the turn of the century portrayed by Hellman's play.