The story by Somerville Ross, “Philippa’s Fox Hunt” was set in Ireland. A recently married couple Mr. and Mrs. Yeates were featured adapting to a new environment. The new place was characterized by new social activities that were not common in their previous residence. They had to learn new skills such as riding horses and hunting. Mr. Yeates who narrated the story described his life after marriage and how events had shaped his marriage. At the very beginning I was able to pick an element of symbolism; a newly married couple will naturally start a new life and similarly in the story the couple ventured into a new society where almost everything was new just in the same way when two people get married to each other.
The starting of the story kept me in suspense: the starting sentence, “No one can accuse Philippa and me of having married in haste” (Fox 1). This clearly brought up the theme of love and marriage. The selection of words by the narrator told that the speaker did not regret his marriage. The defensive tone of the narrator made me to think that perhaps people had criticized his marriage.
Theme of religion came out clearly in this story: “Philippa had what are known as High Church proclivities, and took the matter seriously” (Fox 1). People in this context honor God by fasting. One lady, Julia said that she could not eat an egg on a fasting day. Mr. Yeates said that his wife always had a gift for the church and that she highly honored the elders of the church. These are indications of a society that had religion at heart.
Family was a place of gathering where people met to eat, drink and socialize. The people in the story were also religious as shown by Mrs. Knox as she prayed for her family. The narrator described the prayer in a funny manner: “the prayers were log, and through the open window as they progressed came distantly a whoop or two; the declamatory tones staggered a little, and then continued at a distinctly higher rate of speed” (Fox 1)
Theme of gender and authority were displayed in the story. Women were seen to dominate over men. Mr. Yeates said that he felt privileged by the fact that he could get on with Lady Knox: “chiefly, I imagine, because I was a worm before her, and thankfully permitted her to do all the talking” (Fox 1). Mr. Yeates was being submissive to what Lady Knox said.
Mrs. Knox had sometime back fought with Mr. Hamilton. From that time on she was vengeful because she could not attend Mr. Hamilton’s church. She drove to a church many miles away leaving Hamilton’s church near her home. Lady Knox said with sarcasm, “I wish I’d fought with him myself, he gives us forty minutes every Sunday” (Fox 1). This showed disrespect for men by the women in society. Mrs. Knox, in a different instance, scolded a young man: “Jeremiah Regan! Come down out of that with that pitchfork! Do you want to kill the fox you fool?” (Fox 1), and the young man in respect responded, “I do not, your honor, ma’am” (Fox 1).