Day: March 7, 2015

Dual Perspective: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl is written from two perspectives – Amy Elliot Dunne and Nick Dunne. The entire book is written in first-person point-of-view but we are given two different timeframs

In Nick’s chapters, everything is in the present. We’re learning about the details and clues of Amy’s disappearance as he finds it. We learn about his side of the issue and all the little details of their marriage.

In Amy’s chapters, everything in part 1 is technically set in the past. They are excerpts of Amy’s diary. They are written in different tenses, depending on what she is talking about. They generally detail the details of their relationship from her point-of-view. Part 2 and 3 are set in the present and tell about what Amy has done during her disappearance.

The great thing about this book was the the dual perspective was really easy to read. In a lot of books, each person’s personality and speech pattern is exactly the same. They often wash together into a large collection of opinions that are hard to associate with any single character. It makes it hard to remember what perspective the chapter is in which of course, makes the book hard to enjoy (I’m looking at you Blood of Olympus). In Gone Girl, we get two distinct voices. It’s easy to differentiate between the characters and their opinions. Not wishy-washy or puzzling. Clear, distinct, and easy to read.

I thought the use of the dual perspective was very clever. The entire novel exaggerates the possible repercussions of toxic marriages. With two perspectives, we are able to see the opinions of both sides of the marriage. We learn about Amy and why she, as the wife, began to feel bitter about the marriage. We learn about Nick and his reasons for having a mistress.

With two perspectives, the use of dramatic irony was highly effective. Marriage is built on trust and understanding. Lack of it will result in some serious problems, some of which may eventually result in a situation just as bad as the one in Gone Girl. Okay most people probably aren’t psychopaths but bitter feelings will definitely arise. By using dual perspectives, we learn more about how each person felt about trusting the other person. We get a heightened sense of emotion for each character.

In this case, we kind of just don’t want them to kill each other.

This is why you should talk to your significant others. So you don’t end up bitter and angry.

What do you think about the use of dual perspectives in Gone Girl?