lay figure

as in tool
one that is or can be used to further the purposes of another the novel's characters are not fully fleshed humans, but are simply lay figures strutted out to serve as mouthpieces for conflicting points of view

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“Lay figure.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/lay%20figure. Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

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