Look Back in Anger has characters who act each other's foil. Explain.

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Writers use the idea of a foil as a way to highlight the flaws in one character by contrasting the differences between them. In John Osborne's Look Back in Anger, Cliff is clearly a foil for Jimmy because we observe the contrast between the fiery, frequently cruel Jimmy and the softer, respectful Cliff. Their treatment of Alison is the main difference between them. Helena can also be seen as a foil for Alison. They both love Jimmy, but while Alison has a tendency to retreat into herself when Jimmy is unpleasant to her, Helena is far more confident and outspoken. She gives as good as she gets with Jimmy, and it is perhaps her strength that attracts him to her.

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Foils are two characters whose attributes enhance one another's characterization through their contrast. In Look Back in Anger, Jimmy and Cliff are foils. Jimmy is fiery and intelligent. He's also cruel, especially to his wife, Alison, and to Cliff. He makes excuses for his verbal attacks on Alison, claiming that she's too possessive and that she doesn't understand him because she hasn't suffered like he has. He is self-centered and unable to identify with others, as shown by his treatment of Alison when they lose their baby and the fact that he cheats on her with Helena.

Cliff, meanwhile, is sympathetic and kind. He may not be as well-read as Jimmy, but what he lacks in smarts, he makes up for in compassion and understanding. He tries to defend Alison from Jimmy's abuse, and when she burns her arm, it's Cliff who bandages her up. Cliff's appreciation of, and care for, Alison highlights how badly Jimmy treats her.

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