My voices have some pretty good ideas...somehow they all involve foil though.

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Voice: "the narrator of a literary work, of FICTION of POETRY, is the one who tells the story." (Hamilton, pg. 112)

Foil: "a character who contrasts with the PROTAGONIST in ways that bring out certain of his or her moral, emotional, or intellectual qualities."


When reading the passage pertaining to Voice, I was pleasantly surprised to read that the narrator of a literary work is always different from the author in some way, shape, or form because the narrator is partly made-up by said author. Even if the author is telling about a specific point in their life, the narrator differs from the author now because the author has had experiences since the point in time that the narrator exists in. "That voice may be implied by various aspects of the NARRATION,..., which emerge in the telling and which may be discerned by the attentive reader." (Hamilton, pg. 113) Anyone ever wonder why I sometimes write funny? It's 'cause I don't know how to spell the wurds, it's jus' 'cause it makes the attentive reader pay 'tention to what I'm writin'. That, an' I find it pretty funny too! We form judgments about characters by how they sound in our heads. Nothin' like accents an' whatnot to bring that inta focus, eh?

Now for the next bit, and I'm not writing about aluminum foil here! Our good man, The Bard, Shakespeare, is probably the most notable author who created foils for his main characters to be measured up against. I find foils useful in the fact that they allow the reader to gain important insight into the protagonist. Without the foil, it would be much harder (not to mention time-consuming) to make the reader see the complexities lying deep within a character. We all need them, you might say that your enemies (or the people that you dislike) can easily display your negative qualities, while your friends bring about your good qualities. Think on it long enough and you'll realize that the mirror is not a foil, only a reflection; only other people will truly provide a surface from which we and others can judge us.


Alright, who wants to COLOR!

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3 Comments

Greta Carroll said:

Maddie, you are so right about foil characters and they do exist in real life, as they do in literature. Frequently characters (or people in real life) even know that the people around them are making them look better or worse. The most notable example that comes to my mind is from Forever in Blue: Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood (yes, I know the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books are not literary masterpieces, but there is still a lot of good stuff in them). In the book, Carmen finds herself befriended by a girl named Julia, but Julia only wants Carmen around to make her look good. Anytime Carmen succeeds, Julia gets mad. We all know there are people out there like that, and authors will use any strategy that will be effective with their audience to get their point across. Why shouldn’t they take a type of people that exist in real life and modify them for literature?

Kaitlin Monier said:

Your explanation of foil was very helpful to me. I had a hard time grasping exactly what it is. I thought it was something like an antagonist, but that isn't necessarily true. Thank you for a good evaluation of a foil!

Stephanie Wytovich said:

Maddie. Your blog entry owns my heart. :)
You make such a great point about voice, and foils! I loved your last sentence! "Think on it long enough and you'll realize that the mirror is not a foil, only a reflection; only other people will truly provide a surface from which we and others can judge us." Beautiful!!

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This page contains a single entry by MadelynGillespie published on March 12, 2008 6:43 PM.

Voices for me and foil for you...at least mine serves better conversation! was the previous entry in this blog.

What a way to go... is the next entry in this blog.

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