Flossie and the Fox


Flossie and the fox by McKissack is an African American tale that is quite similar to the little red hoodings though it is not its adaptation. In both stories Flossie and the little red talk both taking shortcuts through the woods, both carrying baskets. One meets a fox while the other meets a wolf. The creatures are both threats to their lives. One is clever while the other is naive. In the broader context of the Flossie and the Fox story, the girl is not given a dictate on what path she must follow. She is both naive and unaware of the path she must follow to handle the alternate ideas, worlds, and independence. She is only given a destination larger than her nuclear family and her community. Though she gets to her destination. Flossie is a black girl full of wisdom talent and knowledge in the world that is full of patriarchy, capitalism, and white supremacy. She is not afraid of the white feminists, the male dominance, and the exaltation of passivity in the worlds that she encounters.

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Elements of the Story

There are various elements highlighted by the authors in both of the tales. The most remarkable portrayal is Flossie and the little red riding hooding. The little red hooding is clever and a trickster while Flossie is naive. Both of them are used as tools in the black community to the debuttle the fox. Both of them are carrying baskets of eggs. Flossie uses the basket of eggs to distract the fox by denying the foxes identity and belittles him so that she can complete the task given to her by her big mama. She and the little red play the character of tricksters who use their cunning power to over physical weakness and outdo the more powerful characters. The tricksters are a symbol of the oppressed African Americans who survive the world of the systematic oppression of the whites. In the tales, they are physically strong in their characters. The fox in the Flossie’s tale is given the mark of intelligence, superiority and educated status and worth. Flossie denies this knowledge, she knows the true identity of the fox, we encounter her belittling the fox she manages to travel safely to Miss Violas.

The other element in the tale is Flossie’s success. Throughout the story we see that she comes from a chain of female characters who are strong. This aspect is used to offer to bring about the perspective of black feminist in the story which has a protagonist. This is referred back to the African American women who occurred in history and coped up with the systematic oppression. These women were able to jump over, under and finally through and beyond it. In the story Flossie does the same by outtalking the fox. She is brave, smart, strong and quick-witted. She manages to handle the abandonment of fear in the entirely hostile environment. She manages to remain fearless. Though she presented as innocent, she is not naïve, she is fearless and manages to distract the fox.

The other element used in the story is Flossie and her language. By critical analysis we know that she is a trickster. Flossie’s language is African American vernacular English while the fox speaks in standard English. Their different dialects represent their sociocultural and racial standings. It is likely that one might think they have intellectual abilities. But in African American vernacular English contains certain grammatical structures and pronunciation patterns. The vocabulary is specifically African American and the American south. When we scrutinize flossiest language there is a clear indication of English patterns of African American.in the story she uses double negatives. (Milner & Steward )213 denote the use of ‘sho’ to denote ‘sure’. The author even uses rural language the moment she could not recollect coming across a critter. From This one must be quick to assume she uses this language because she is uneducated. Flossie and the fox together with the Europeans little red hooding both representing the African American community attempts to educate the child reader about courage, universal truths, determination, love, and endurance. These are the tools that they need to pursue their lives.


These tales contain bodies of literature that outline African aspects of the African American experiences. The authors of these books have tactfully altered the elements of these stories through language, setting and characterization to bring out the images of the culture of the African Americans their community, and a child reader who is African American. Additionally, the stories have female protagonists who are African American. The representation of protagonists gives the clue of the culture being. They further address social, political issues that are relevant to the African Americans which encourage strength and racial pride.it is well accomplished by their stories being situated in the history and culture of the African Americans.


Works Cited

Yenika-Agbaw, Vivian, Ruth McKoy Lowery, and Loretta Henderson, eds. Fairy Tales with a Black Consciousness: Essays on Adaptations of Familiar Stories. McFarland, 2013.

Assessing childrens literature. ‘Assessing childrens literature’Np 2013.web 29 oct 2012.