Wintergirls Essay

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Wintergirls Essay Analyse how symbolism was used to reinforce an idea in the written text(s). “Idea” may refer to character, theme or setting. In the novel ‘Wintergirls’ written by Laurie Halse Anderson the idea of guilt is presented to the readers. The novel tells the haunting story of Lia, a deeply depressed and severely anorexic 18 year old girl who is tormented by the ghost of her ex-best friend Cassie. The idea of guilt is portrayed through the use of symbolism throughout the novel. Anderson uses the symbol of ‘Cassie’s ghost’ to illustrate the guilt Lia is faced with and the fear and self-control that follows. Firstly, Anderson uses the symbol of Cassie’s ghost to help reinforce the idea of guilt shown through Cassie’s 33 unanswered phone calls to Lia the night she died. Cassie’s ghost is first introduced to the readers in the novel the night of Lia finding out about Cassie’s death. Cassie’s ghost appears that night and says to Lia “Come with me… Please”. This shows how conflicted Lia is as she is on the verge of life or death and whenever Cassie’s ghost appears we know Lia is struggling with self-control and that Cassie is guilt tripping Lia into following her to ‘cross-over’. Anderson’s use of this symbol has a significant effect on helping the readers to understand Lia’s mind. Lia is forced to dwell on the fact that she ignored Cassie’s 33 phone calls which shows how Lia is covered in guilt from not answering and whether she could have prevented Cassie’s death from happening. The repetition of the numbers 1-33 written out throughout the novel further develops the readers understanding that this is a fact constantly on her mind and how much Cassie’s ghost is affecting her. Simply seeing the numbers written out effectively evokes feelings of empathy in the reader. The repetition of the line “…body found in a motel room, alone…” also helps to backup Lia’s

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