Sunday, December 2, 2007


Definition= [Batten] Character that invites comparison and makes main character more intelligible; [] someone or something that serves as a contrast to another

Isabella serves as a foil to Catherine in Jane Austen's "Northanger Abbey." Her insensitivity and ability to manipulate others highlight Catherine's naivety and innocence. In the same story, James Morland (who is dull and of moderate wealth) serves as a foil to Frederick Tilney (who is charming and of a higher social status, a rake).

The presence of a character foil allows the reader to think more in depth about the main characters intentions and personality, as well as about the overarching themes of the story, rather than to gloss them over. The foil draws attention to its opposite.

- Grace Lin

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