Foils in To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

Foils in To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

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(Whether we read about different people in literature to broaden our knowledge about others, or whether we do it as an interest, we cannot overlook the use of foils in stories. While many people can be similar to each other, others can be complete opposites. One character may do something virtuous, while the other may do something heinous; this in turn makes the virtuous character seem exceedingly better than the other character.) (In literature, many writers use foils to highlight one’s true nature and make it more noticeable; when characters are compared side by side, one character is always superior to the other. In the classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee undoubtedly uses pairs of characters to emphasize and demonstrate the themes of prejudice, racism and inequality of characters.)(This writing technique is especially evident with the characters: Atticus and Mr. Gilmer; Miss Maudie Atkinson and Miss Stephanie Crawford; and, finally, Walter Cunningham Sr. and Bob Ewell.)
(Foils are a very useful technique in writing which are used to show how characters can be compared and contrasted to each another. The following characters have some similarities within their background, however they each have a different perception and behaviour towards the same people. Atticus Finch and Mr. Gilmer are clear examples of this because when compared side by side, one character always comes out on top in the end, this makes one character look superior to the other) (Atticus and Mr. Gilmer are both highly educated men; they went to law school and are also both white, however many of the major differences are displayed within the trial of Tom Robinson. Atticus is defending Tom Robinson while Mr. Gilmer is trying to prove him guilty. Whe...


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... Mockingbird to compare and contrast characters; this is a very useful literary term because it shows how one character can make another character seem extremely better. Many characters are clear examples of this: Atticus’s respectful and fair behaviour in contrast to Mr. Gilmer’s rude and prejudice behavior; Miss Maudie’s truthful and open-minded personality in comparison to Miss Stephanie’s gossipy and impulsive personality; and, finally, Walter Cunningham senior’s hardworking and generous attitude compared to Bob Ewell’s careless and greedy attitude.)(Thus, it can be seen that foils play a major role within literature because it brings out one’s true nature and compares them shoulder to shoulder.)(Many of the contrasts between characters intensify the conflict between them, turning the story of innocence to experience into an epic struggle between good and evil.

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