Romance Analysis: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

In Gone Girl, we are told repeatedly that Amy had a lot of admirers that were overly obsessive.

There’s Tommy O’Hare, the guy that she briefly dated before officially getting together with Nick.

There’s Desi Collings, her highschool ex that stalked her.

And of course, there’s Nick Dunne, the husband accused of murder.

In all three instances of romance, we learn something about Amy and how she treats men.

In Tommy O’Hara’s case, he was kind of her rebound. After she met Nick, he disappeared. They lost contact and she was really unhappy. So she finds a new guy, Tommy O’Hara to fill the void of loneliness. He quickly realizes that Amy is really, really high-maintenance. So he backs off and gives her some space because the stuff he’s doing isn’t making her happy. He knows that she doesn’t actually want their relationship to work. It’s completely natural for him to do that. Well now, Amy gets mad. She gets really mad. She plans something to get Tommy arrested. She comes over and they watch a movie and drink. They have sex. When Tommy wakes up, he’s naked, hungover, and facing two cops at his door. She’s framed him for rape and only relaxes the charges with a warning.

From this, we learn that Amy is crazy. Either she gets her way or she’ll punish her victims.

With Desi Collings, we learn that Amy is a hypocrite. She goes to him after she’s robbed, knowing that he’d comply. Desi is obsessive, a man that will memorize every detail of his conquests. He’s memorized Amy’s favorite foods, colors, flowers, clothes, etc. There is not one detail that he doesn’t know. The two have a history that isn’t healthy at all. The curious thing about Desi is that his personality can easily be compared to Nick. Amy thirsts for attention and love. She wants Nick to pay attention to her, which is normal. But when Desi pours attention on her, she is unhappy and unwilling to accept it (which is one of the reasons that she ends up killing him). She wants only one type of attention from one person. And that’s Nick.

And that leads us to the last one. Nick is the one man that Amy loves wholeheartedly. Her methods of romance are unrealistic and a competition. It’s a toxic love-hate relationship and throughout the course of the book, the characters learn loads about each other. From the beginning, we are expected to believe that this relationships is just like any other failed marriage. They have a cute, happy relationship that soon turns into something ugly.

Since we’re talking about the relationship, I might as well talk about how it ends too.

Something that is referenced a lot in the book is how marriage is hard. In the beginning, Amy smugly says, “Voila: happiest couple on the block! And they say marriage is such hard work(Flynn 41). She believes that she and Nick have an easy relationship that will only get better.

Funnily enough, at the end of the novel, she seems to have changed her opinion. Instead of being the smug, happy person that won’t settle for a difficult relationship, she pushes her need on Nick. She insists that a rough relationship is marriage. For Nick, she’s willing to go through all the stages of a crazy, toxic relationship.

Now here we can probably compare some things.

With both Tommy and Desi, she didn’t care. She didn’t actually like them. She treated the person as an object, something to play with in her sick games. She got revenge on them if they didn’t live up to her expectations and left a trail of misery when she was done. Desi is dead and Tommy is left with a rape history.

Desi and Nick were completely different. Desi was overly affectionate, craving the attention of the one woman that he loved. He showered gifts and attention on Amy, hoping that she’d come to him. Nick on the other hand, let Amy do whatever she wanted. He treated her like a person rather than a goddess. So when Nick began to ignore her, she was angry, wanting his attention. So when Desi showers attention on her, it’d be kind of logical that she’d be happy that somebody would appreciate her right? Evidentially not because she ends up killing him. It kinds of reminds me of this one video where two guys are given different standards….

Like how the girls reacted in the video, Amy found Desi’s advances really annoying rather than romantic. She would have been pleased if Nick had given her that attention since she actually liked him.

What I always thought was interesting was that Amy insists on being different from the average female, yet a lot of her reactions and motives are parallel with the average female. Again, very hypocritical.

I don’t think any relationship that Amy had was left unscathed. In all three relationships mentioned, Amy has dominated, hurting the guy in question.

What interesting things did you notice about the relationships in the book?

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