Study Guide

Dark Places Dreams, Hopes, and Plans

By Gillian Flynn

Dreams, Hopes, and Plans

Only Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz wants to go back to a farmhouse in Kansas. In Dark Places, it seems like everyone wants to get as far away as possible from one. Even though their dreams are simple—Patty just wants her family to be able to get by, and Ben wants to raise his soon-to-be-born daughter—it takes more than a few clicks of the heels to achieve those dreams.

Questions About Dreams, Hopes, and Plans

  1. Ben hides Diondra's pregnancy from his family. Patty hides her money troubles from them, too. Why doesn't anyone in Dark Places actually talk about their plans? Would things be better if they communicated more openly?
  2. At some point in the book, all three main characters daydream of dying. Only one of them goes through with it. Which one, and why? Why do the others only entertain the idea as a passing thought, without any real plans for suicide?
  3. Both Diondra and Ben want to run away from home, but do they plan their escape for the same reasons?

Chew on This

As a child and as an adult, Libby has no plans for the future. She only dreams of survival.

Ben dreams of a happy life for his daughter because his own father, Runner, wasn't able to provide any of his kids with a good life. Ben can only imagine a good life far away from his failed family.