Study Guide

Gone Girl What's Up With the Ending?

By Gillian Flynn

What's Up With the Ending?

Gone Girl concludes with Amy awaiting both the birth of her and Nick's child and the release of her Amazing memoir. Nick has become the perfect, cocoa-butter tummy rubbing, food-craving shopping, clingy husband. Amy's gotten everything she wants… or has she? We've got this feeling that even though she wants us to think she's happy with how this saga turned out, this is yet another fabulous rationalization on her part.

For one thing, Amy tells us that Nick "is learning to love me unconditionally, under all my conditions" (64.4). What this tells us is that she's got Nick right where she wants him—he's back to being her puppet on a string, and the string that's tying him down is his coming child. Amy knows that the last thing Nick will do is abandon his child after his own disastrous childhood, and she uses this to get what she wants. Nick may not have gone to prison, but he's in a prison of a different kind nonetheless: the prison of spending his life with the craziest woman on the planet.

What complicates this ending is that despite Amy's insistence that things are progressing the way she'd like them to, Nick suggests he hasn't totally succumbed to her power. "I feel sorry for you," Nick says, "Because every morning you have to wake up and be you" (64.8,10). Ouch—his candor and bitter honesty kind of blow her mind. "I really wish he hadn't said that," she confesses. "I keep thinking about it. I can't stop." Nick may be playing by Amy's rules, but it looks like he has some clarity about his evil wife and isn't afraid to use it.

Even though Amy ends the book demanding that she, not Nick, gets the last word, there's a clear sense that life for the Dunne family isn't going to be the bright future Amy's telling herself awaits them. Their story ends on the disheartening note that things are probably just going to get worse. And while we generally feel like Amy and Nick deserve this—and each other—it's pretty depressing when we remember that there's going to be a kid in the mix soon. Nobody deserves parents like these two.