I will be exploring the changing relationship between Anya and Emily. Their relationship starts with Anya being frightened of Emily while Emily was friendly to Anya. When Anya first saw Emily, she repeatedly uttered “Oh my God”. The expletive “Oh my God” is used to express shock or anxiety. Moreover, the sentence “Oh my God.” is an exclamatory sentence which conveys a tone of horror. This suggests that Anya was afraid when she first meet Emily because Emily was a ghost. Also, Anya repeatedly screamed “Help!” after seeing Emily. The word “[h]elp” is used in a precarious and helpless situation and thus it is associated with danger and franticness. This suggests that Anya felt that the presence of Emily was dangerous as there was a skeleton in the hole and so Anya thought that she might end up like the skeleton if she stayed with Emily, thus she was frightened. In contrast, Emily stated that she was “just being hospitable”. The word “hospitable” has connotations of compassion and concern, suggesting that Emily was kind and caring towards Anya.
Further on, Emily remains friendly to Anya, but now Anya accepts Emily and becomes friends with her; as such their relationship is closer and less tense. During the biology test, after helping Anya with the first question, Emily states that she “can help [Anya] with the rest of [the test]”. Here, “help” brings to mind kindness and care, and this suggests that Emily is still compassionate and friendly to Anya. This time, however, Anya replies with “Sure” and “Okay”. The words “[s]ure” and “[o]kay” convey acceptance and agreement. The word “[s]ure”, in particular, also carries a tone of willingness. This suggests that Anya was happy to have Emily help her. This moment where Emily helps Anya with her biology test is the turning point in their relationship because Anya had not studied for the test and thought she would fail, thus she was very grateful towards Emily for helping her do well. Emily being able to discreetly look at others’ answers also convinced Anya that Emily would be of use to her. The next day, Anya is shown to have been helped by Emily even more, with the caption, “Ghosts Are Awesome”. The adjective “[a]wesome” is associated with being very impressive and also carries a sense of admiration. This shows that Anya now liked Emily and saw being a ghost as a privilege. Moreover, it is worth noting that this caption is the only caption found in the entire graphic novel, emphasising Anya’s intense liking for Emily.
Nearer the end of the book, Anya hated Emily and wanted to get rid of her; Emily hated Anya too, and wanted to harm her. After finding out that the truth behind Emily’s death was that Emily had been chased after burning her lover and another girl to death after her lover broke up with her, Anya returned home and shouted at Emily, saying “I know you were lying!” and that “You killed [the two people]!!!”, followed telling her “You burned people to death!!!!”. Each of the sentences is an exclamatory sentence, conveying an accusatory tone. This suggests that Anya was angry with Emily for both lying about her family being murdered and murdering people herself. Moreover, the exponential increase in exclamation marks, from one, to two, to four, emphasises Anya’s increasing fury towards Emily. Anya’s discovery is the second turning point in their relationship as Anya finds out that Emily is not the innocent, murdered girl she had made herself out to be. After Anya’s accusation, Emily says, “All I want is another chance!” When Anya takes Emily’s bone and brings it back to the hole, Emily yells, “I’m going to kill you!!!!”. The action of “kill[ing]” is a violent and extreme action; moreover, this exclamatory sentence also carries a tone of hatred, showing how Emily loathed Anya and wanted to harm her.
The development of their relationship is what keeps the plot of the novel moving forward; the novel itself is about how Anya’s relationship with Emily changes. Without any change in their relationship, the plot will not be able to develop and in so, the story will be very dull.
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