Gone Girl

Gone Girl

by

Gillian Flynn

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Gone Girl: 40. Amy Elliott Dunne, Nine Days Gone (1) Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The morning after the excursion to the lake with Jeff, Amy wakes up feeling nervous. She knows she needs to get out of the Ozarks. She plans to leave later that afternoon—but first, goes to the local library to catch up on Nick. She almost immediately finds Nick’s interview with Rebecca, labeled online as “NICK DUNNE, DRUNKEN DECLARATIONS!!!” Excited to watch Nick make a bigger fool of himself, Amy clicks the video—but is shocked and even warmed when she sees that the video contains Nick speaking about how “perfect” and even “power[ful]” Amy is. Nick twirls his wedding band on his finger as he admits to his failures as a husband, and promises that if Amy were to return home, he would make everything up to her.
Amy is a sucker for flattery—and as she watches Nick’s new viral video, she finds herself transfixed by what he’s saying. There’s no way she can know about the horrible thoughts which were secretly running through Nick’s head as he delivered the interview—she only sees her charming husband prostrating himself for the cameras. She feels she is controlling Nick even from afar.
Themes
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Marriage Theme Icon
Writing, Storytelling, and Narrative Theme Icon
Amy returns to her cabin to find Dorothy waiting for her—she is two days behind on rent. Amy says she’s leaving anyway, but Dorothy insists on collecting the eighty dollars Amy owes her. Amy retrieves the money and goes back onto the porch to hand it to Dorothy—as she does, she spies Greta and Jeff on Greta’s porch, watching her pay the landlady. Amy hurries back inside and begins packing and cleaning, wiping every surface down and cleaning all the drains to remove evidence that she was ever here. As Amy frantically cleans, Jeff and Greta knock on the door, claiming they want to come in and say goodbye.
Amy has been waiting for something bad to happen with Greta and Jeff since they saw her money purse—now, as they knock at her door, she slowly realizes that she’s been unable to escape the Ozarks in time.
Themes
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Amy reluctantly lets Greta and Jeff in—they begin going through her things under the pretense of helping her pack, shaking out her sheets and inspecting her fridge. When they are unable to turn up Amy’s money pouch, Jeff confronts her directly. Amy claims not to have anything on her, but Jeff calls out her lie. When Amy threatens to call the police, Greta calls her bluff—she knows Amy is hiding from something. Amy asks if Jeff talked Greta into robbing her—Greta replies that she talked Jeff into it. She then hits Amy, lifts up her dress, and takes her money pouch right off of her.
Though Amy herself is the mastermind of a scheming plot, she fails to see Greta’s independence and intrepidness and doesn’t recognize that it’s Greta, not Jeff, who’s the mastermind behind the robbery.
Themes
Misogyny Theme Icon
Greta and Jeff scurry out of the apartment, almost tenderly warning Amy to be more careful at the next place she stops and reassuring her she’ll be okay. After they depart, Amy looks over to the bedside table, where a quarter and dime sit on the glass—it is her only money left in the whole world.
Jeff and Greta’s kind goodbye to Amy in the wake of their cruel violence against her is strange and dissonant—much like the odd ways in which Amy vacillates between monstrosity and tenderness.
Themes
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
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