Let's be real here: we've all lied. Some are little fibs, like saying you're fine when you're actually not, or denying eating the last cookie in the jar even though you can still taste the chocolate chips. Chances are decent though, that you've never staged your own disappearance, faked a pregnancy, been completely glib during a murder investigation, lied to the cops, or framed your significant other for murder. And if you have, then, well, um… eek.
For Nick and Amy Dunne in Gone Girl, lying isn't just something they do now and again. It's a way of life that has significant consequences, consequences they seem to be completely ignorant of, although they do serious damage to themselves and people around them.
Questions About Lies and Deceit
- Both Nick and Amy are compulsive liars. What are the roots of each of their problems with honesty?
- What characters are most clearly affected by Nick and Amy's lies? Find a specific incident where a character learns of one of their lies. Describe his or her reaction and how the lie affects his or her relationship with Amy or Nick.
- Read this article about sociopaths from Psychology Today. Do either Nick or Amy fit these characteristics? How so?
- At the end of the book, do you believe Nick and Amy's respective accounts of this story? Do you tend to believe one over the other? Why?
Chew on This
Nick lies not out of fear or guilt, but because it's a defensive mechanism he's learned from his father.
Nick and Amy's unreliability as narrators makes it impossible for us to really know the truth about their story.