The Foils In Their Eyes Were Watching God By Zora Neale Hurston

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Foils help to show a main character in a different light. They can be the same as the character or the complete opposite or even be a little of both. This helps the reader to see the good and the bad inside of that certain character to better the understanding of the novel as a whole. In the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, the characters of Daisy, Mrs. Bogle, Mrs. Robbins, and Mrs. Turner all act as stereotypical sketches of what it meant to be a black woman during the time period. They each act as a foil to the main character Janie in multiple ways.
First, Daisy acts a foil of Janie in a couple of ways. For example, Daisy is a beautiful girl. The novel states, “She is black and she knows that white clothes look good on her, so she wears them for dress up. She’s got those big black eyes with plenty shiny white in them that makes them shine like brand new money and she knows what God gave women eyelashes for, too” (67). She parallels Janie in beauty as Janie is described to
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Bogle shows some foil characteristics to Janie. For instance, she has had multiple husbands. The novel states, “Her first husband… Her second husband…” (69). Mrs. Bogle, like Janie, married multiple times thus creating the foil of another character that has had multiple partners. She is the same as Janie in this sense. Another example is how Mrs. Bogle’s husbands treated her. The novel states, “Her first husband… [held] her till his death. Her second husband… proved his love and pride” (69, 70). The foil aspect is a similarity between the husbands of each woman. Mrs. Bogle’s first husband held her until he finally died just as Jody held Janie captive until he died. Her second husband proved his love and pride to her just as Tea Cake proved his love and pride when he took Janie’s money but gambled it back to spoil her. There is also a stereotypical aspect showing male dominance over females as Janie’s husbands have power over her just like Mrs. Bogle’s
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