Study Guide

Dark Places Wealth

By Gillian Flynn

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Money makes the world go 'round. It's also the root of all evil. So does that mean evil makes the world go 'round? It certainly feels like that in Dark Places: all the main members of the Day family—Libby, Ben, and Patty—are motivated by money, primarily because they don't have what they need. Patty and Ben make some terrible decisions in order to profit, and Libby… well Libby follows the belief of a famous philosopher: "Sell yourself, just cash in." It doesn't really end well for any of them.

Questions About Wealth

  1. Why won't Libby just get a "real" job? How do you feel about what she does to make money? Is it disrespectful, or is it excusable?
  2. What does Patty do for money? Did she have another choice? Libby sells pieces of her family history for money. How is this similar to the choice her mother made over twenty years ago?
  3. Would any of the events of Dark Places have happened if the Day family hadn't been living in poverty? How would their lives have been different?
  4. At the end of the story, Libby has solved the case. How will she make money if she can no longer capitalize on the murders?

Chew on This

Libby agrees to help the Kill Club not because she wants to know the true identity of the killer, but because she wants cash.

Money is the root of all the evil in Dark Places. If Patty didn't need money, she wouldn't have hired Calvin Diehl to kill her for life insurance purposes. If Ben didn't need money, he'd never have brought Diondra to the family farmhouse, where she killed Michelle.

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