Gone Girl

Gone Girl

by

Gillian Flynn

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Gone Girl: 44. Amy Elliott Dunne, Ten Days Gone (1) Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Amy makes a phone call and arranges a mysterious meeting for later that evening. She spends the rest of the day “primping”—cleaning herself in a McDonald’s bathroom and putting on a cheap sundress. At five, she drives to the appointed meeting place—a casino on the Mississippi—and heads inside to sit at the bar. Amy assumed the casino would be a good spot to remain anonymous, but amidst all the hubbub, she feels vulnerable. As she waits at the bar, she grows anxious, and is about to leave when Desi Collings walks up and greets her.
Amy has summoned Desi in her hour of need. She needs someone entirely devoted to her—someone who will put her above their desire for public attention or validation. She knows that Desi, who she’s kept on a string all these years, is still at her beckon call—she can do, she believes, whatever she wants with him.
Themes
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Writing, Storytelling, and Narrative Theme Icon
Amy has called her “devoted Desi” to her aid. They have never quite lost touch, and in spite of what Amy has told Nick and her parents, Desi doesn’t frighten her. Amy knows that Desi is never happier than when he’s helping a damsel in distress. Now, as he approaches the bar in a white suit, he tenderly touches Amy’s cheek and embraces her. Amy lets herself cry for just a minute—long enough to win Desi’s sympathy, but not to bloat or flush her face. Desi asks to hear about what Amy’s been through, and she spins a story of Nick’s cruelty and his threats to kill her if she ever ran away or left him. She tells Desi she needs him and call him her “savior,” playing into his fantasies of her finally returning to him after so many years.
Amy knows how to win Desi over. She plays right into his hands by being the person he wants her to be, and behaving the way he wants her to behave. Amy’s not being the “Cool Girl” anymore—but she’s still changing herself to win the protection and adoration of the men in her life.
Themes
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Writing, Storytelling, and Narrative Theme Icon
Desi is full of rage towards Nick, and agrees to keep Amy hidden from him. Desi reveals that Nick came to talk to him several days ago, a fact which sort of thrills Amy—she has always wanted a man to “get in a fight over [her].” Desi says that Nick had heard some “insane” story about how Desi tried to kill himself in Amy’s dorm room—Amy privately thinks to herself about how that story is her favorite lie she’s ever told.
Amy takes delight in destroying other peoples’ lives and reputations. What she’s doing to Nick is nothing new—she’s done it to Hilary, Tommy, and Desi, and what’s worse, she’s enjoyed and relished each damning lie she’s told.
Themes
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Writing, Storytelling, and Narrative Theme Icon
Desi tells Amy he’ll do whatever he can to shield her from the world—he’ll even flee the country with her. Amy says she doesn’t want that, and Desi gets the idea of putting her up in his lake house, which is a secluded mansion. Amy knows that Desi wants to possess her, and keep her “under glass.” She attempts to resist the offer, asking Desi if he can just give her some cash, but Desi insists she try the house out—he promises that if she feels cramped, she can leave after getting a few days of relaxation away from the rest of the world. Amy agrees. She leans over and kisses Desi on the lips, calling him a “wonderful” man.
Amy was hoping that in meeting up with Desi she could secure his sympathies and a little bit of money—but it becomes clear that Desi wants something in exchange for keeping Amy’s secret. She decides she’s willing to give it to him—though she intuits that Desi may want to keep her to himself forever.
Themes
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On the way out of the casino, Amy and Desi pass by a TV—on it, Andie, “the slut,” is holding a press conference. Dressed conservatively and looking tiny and helpless, Amy tells reporters all about her and Nick’s affair, and promises she’s now cooperating with the police in their investigation. As Amy overhears the casino patrons expressing sympathy for Andie, she becomes enraged. Desi tries to hurry her out of the casino—but when Marybeth and Rand take over from Andie, both Amy and Desi freeze. Marybeth announces that in light of Andie’s admission, she and her husband are “withdraw[ing their] support from Nick” entirely.
Amy is more concerned with narcissistically watching her own story unfold than she is with her own well-being. This symbolizes that the image she’s created of herself—the narrative she's sold to America--has become more real than her own corporeal safety.
Themes
Secrets and Lies Theme Icon
Marriage Theme Icon
Misogyny Theme Icon
Writing, Storytelling, and Narrative Theme Icon