Study Guide

Jeff in Gone Girl

By Gillian Flynn


Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale… of Jeff, the Hide-A-Way Cabins' very own fish smuggler. On the surface, he seems pretty harmless—initially, Amy describes him as "a hippie dropout of the Grizzly Adams, homemade granola variety" (34.15), right down to his beard and turquoise jewelry. Amy learns the hard way though, that she's not the only person who's a pro at creating a fake persona.

When Jeff invites Amy to come along with him on a fishing expedition to make some extra money, Amy learns that her perceptions of Jeff are all wrong. He's actually a criminal who steals fish from the lake property of a catfish restaurant, bashes their heads in, then resells them to unsuspecting customers. "He isn't a Grizzly Adams, guitar-playing, peace-loving granola guy at all," Amy tells us. "He is a redneck thief who wants to believe that he's more complicated than that" (38.68). Harsh words from a lady on the run.

Not only that, but unbeknownst to Amy, she's about to be his next victim; he talks her into taking off her dress concealing her money belt and rinsing the fish stench off of her before she gets in the car. Amy's victorious in the race she and Jeff make back to the dock to retrieve the belt, but as we all know, he eventually gets the better of her, with Greta as his accomplice. Like Greta, the whole point to Jeff is that he reveals Amy's naïve mindset about being on her own. She thinks that she's a master manipulator—but ends up getting outsmarted.