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Anya's Ghost

Graphic novel character analysis
by

Laura chapman

on 6 November 2012

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Transcript of Anya's Ghost

Character Analysis by: Laura Chapman Character's Role Emily is dead, murdered so she claims, but that doesn't mean she can't provide her insight and knowledge to a self conscious Anya. The relationship between Emily and Anya is great, between cheating on tests and helping her talk to boys, Emily is just what Anya needed to help her fit into high school. However as Emily becomes more demanding with Anya -telling her what to do, what to wear- Anya begins to want to venture out on her own, leaving Emily alone. Emily is very upset with this, after all she's done for Anya. She beings to show her true colours and proves she's not as innocent as she seems. I chose Emily to do my character profile on, due to the fact that she has a very interesting personality and back story. Emily is a very complex character and can be fit into many archetypes, including mentor, manipulator and the antagonist. It interests me how one character could have so many widely varying traits, which is why I wanted to take a closer look at Emily Cognitive Analysis Emily lived for a very long time in isolation, as she was alone in a dark hole for almost 70 years. Being away from human contact is not a healthy environment to be in. This allowed her to create very strong desires and beliefs, she had a very strong desire to be loved and find a boyfriend for herself.This could directly affect Emily's mental health, which could be why she was very timid with Anya, upon meeting but quickly becoming manipulative, short fused and violent, once she got to know Anya. Being isolated for such a long time allowed Emily to hyper analyze herself as a person. Cognitive psychology deals with the mental health of an individual, Emily was without any stimulus for a long time, even though Emily is a ghost she still craves attention and nurturing, much like demonstrated in Harry Harlow’s study of primate monkeys and how they would rather have a sense of love and being cared for, than food.
Humanistic Analysis Although Emily is a ghost she still has needs that must be fulfilled. Due to the fact that Emily is a ghost her hierarchy of needs is a bit different than a humans. She doesn't need food, water or shelter, and doesn't really need safety. This means that Emily is on the belonging area of Maslow's pyramid. Emily is trying to fulfill her needs by living them through Anya, trying to get Anya to become more popular and attempting to get her a boyfriend. However in doing this Emily is not thinking of Anya's interests only hers.
Having lived in isolation for a number of years, Emily got a very clear understanding of herself. Although Emily felt as though she was of sound mind, when looking at her as a whole, an observer could see things quite differently. For example, being with her own thoughts for so long allowed Emily to come to terms with what she had done, instead of owning up to the fact that she killed her crush and his girlfriend out of jealousy, Emily told herself that she was murdered in order for her to evade the guilt and be able to live with herself. Due to the fact that Emily decided to hide behind a story rather than own up to her actions shows that Emily has a lot of inner problems. Self confidence may be an issue which is why Emily is trying to control Anya. If something fails or a plan Emily has devised backfires it is Anya’s problem and Emily does not have to deal with it. Essentially Emily is using Anya as a shield to buffer her actions. Psychoanalysis At first Emily appears to be very innocent, saying she was in love and then tragically murdered. She is very happy that Anya is following her orders. As the novel progresses Emily begins to change from this innocent looking girl to more of a manipulating character. This shows in her appearance as well as her personality. Emily becomes more demanding in what Anya should do. However when Anya wants to do her own thing, separate from Emily, Emily become violent. It is here that Anya learns that Emily was not murdered but that Emily murdered the "love of her life" and his girlfriend out of jealousy. Knowing that Emily has the capability to murder someone reveals much about her personality. Perhaps her Id gets pleasure from harming people, violence is something that Emily turns to when she does not get her way. After this discovery has been made Emily shows her true colours threatening Anya and her family. Emily could be acting this way because of her subconscious desires to find the love she never had. Which ultimately alters her personality, appearance and relationship with Anya. Before After Since Emily is a ghost and does not need food, her need for attention was multiplied. The way Emily died is a huge contributing factor as to why Emily craves love and affection so much. Emily fell down a hole and died from dehydration, I can imagine that she yelled and yelled for someone to come and save her, however nobody comes and Emily subsequently dies. Having died alone and being alone for such a long time allowed Emily to come up with situations as to why no one came to her rescue. Perhaps she thought that if she had a boyfriend, friends or a family that loved her she wouldn't have died. This being said Emily could have come up with negative situations as well, for example people could of heard her screaming but decided not rescue her. The imagination is a scary thing, having been left alone with her imagination for so long, did not leave Emily in a very sound mental state. Emily also deals with displacement having focused on herself for so many years, when all of a sudden a girl around the same age comes into her life. Emily’s attention is switched to focus on someone’s elses (Anya’s) life, as opposed to her own. Due to this Emily’s ego may have been affected. Emily grew up in a very different time period than Anya, being alone in a hole allowed Emily to fantasize about what it is like outside of the hole. Once Emily came out of her made up reality in the hole and into the real world her ego may be confused as to what is real and what is not. This could cause Emily to have identity issues, which could be the reason that we see her appearance as well as her personality change, it is just a way for her subconscious to deal with all the changes.
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