Use of Development of Foil Characters to Disprove Stereotypes

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Use of Development of Foil Characters to Disprove Stereotypes
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Cindy HerIB Language A: Literature HLClemens26 February 2013Word Count:1,303|

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Cindy Her
Clemens
IB Language A: Literature HL
26 February 2013

Use of Development of Foil Characters to Disprove Stereotypes

When Arabic men are mentioned, they are often labeled with the same characteristics and get classified as men who have no respect for women. They are repeatedly known to be men who do not have any tolerance for women but just because one Arabic men rapes a woman does not mean all the men of that culture will do the same thing. In her novel Pillars of Salt, Fadia Faqir uses the development of foil characters to disprove stereotypes and show that some but not all Arabic men treat women with disrespect, thus revealing the change Faqir wants for the men of her society.

Faqir reveals a society that has a lack of tolerance for women displaying stereotypes of men to convey her values of the change she wants for the men. Faqir first reveals the stereotypical cultural beliefs of men by having Maha, the protagonist, reflect on her mother’s teachings, “men were birds of prey…but when they had killed it and filled their stomachs, they look around for another”(16). Faqir’s judgmental tone labels men as a threat and directs the story towards the view of men as predators. Maha’s mother labeling them as “birds of prey” shows the oppression of women in the society and shows that the men are careless. Faqir describes the effect of the men catching their prey through Maha’s thoughts by writing, “they had killed it and filled their stomachs, they look around for another”, this makes the men appear as dangerous beings that do not have any respect for the women’s feelings. Furthermore, Faqir’s opinions are communicated through Maha’s thoughts when she writes “The women and children waited patiently for the leftovers” (182). Being left with the scarps demonstrates how little the men think...
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