Gone Girl Themes

Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl

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Gone Girl Themes

Media Manipulation

The media is depicted as a double-edged sword in this novel. On one hand, the media disseminates vital information to the public, including soliciting the public to come forward and assist police investigations, but it also intrudes into the legal processes at work in the investigation of Amy’s disappearance, perhaps even preventing justice, as they twist stories to fit stereotypes and create more dramatic narratives.

Both television and print media figure largely in this novel. As a journalist who loses his job to the domination of the internet, Nick is twice a victim of large media forces. However, he manages to turn the tables on the media’s depiction of him by using internet videos and television to manipulate public opinion and woo his wife back to him, preventing a lengthy prison term or even the death penalty.

Amy too loses her job writing quizzes for magazines, because of print journalism’s move to the internet. However, she counts on the media to help her convict Nick of her murder, and she takes similar advantage of the media’s interest in her upon her return.

The novel explicates Flynn’s thought-provoking message that in the United States,the media’sappetite for excitement and entertainment trumps truth, solid knowledge, and information every time.

Good versus Evil

The battle between good and evil is a central theme of this novel, even as Flynn manipulates the reader’s sense of who the “good” and “bad” characters are throughout the novel. For example, during the first part of the novel, Nick appears to be the evil one—he is a cheating husband, whose guilty behavior suggests that he is hiding something about Amy’s disappearance. He acts like he has done something wrong and he even dreams about a bloody Amy crawling across the kitchen floor.

In Part Two, however, the tables are neatly turned. Amy reveals herself to be the evil architect of a devious scheme.She has planted enough evidence to send her cheating husband to jail for her murder; she intends to wreak havoc in revenge for his affair.

Flynn does not offer the comfort of a happy ending. Good does not triumph over evil. In…

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