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Em's supposed to be Cassia's best girl friend, but we hardly get to see her in Matched. At the beginning, Cassia and Em are very similar—rule followers who think Society is great and are really excited to get assigned their Matches and work positions. However, as Cassia forges her way down an unexpected path when faced with the microcard glitch and Grandfather's advice, Emily remains the same, and they are able to relate less and less. Cassia tells us:
So many times in my life I've felt as though looking at Em is like seeing another variation of myself, but I don't feel that way now. (20.2)
We think Em's main purpose as a character is to show who Cassia might have been and how her life could have turned out differently if it weren't for the situations that set her down her new path. Emily represents the other choice—the one Cassia doesn't make. We see Em as her nerves get the best of her before the Match Banquet and she takes a green tablet, and we feel her palpable elation when she gets Matched with a cute boy from another province and eagerly drinks in knowledge about him, unapologetically eager to meet him.
In short, she's the anti-Cassia—but still her best girl friend.