Study Guide

Gone Girl Marriage

By Gillian Flynn


Marriage is a sticky, complicated business—and it's especially complicated if you're the child of divorced parents who has serious daddy issues and marries a self-centered sociopath who's lived her entire life as a fictional character.

It's pretty obvious that Nick and Amy's relationship is totally dysfunctional, but look on the bright side: we can still learn something from their massive failures. In fact, maybe Gone Girl should be remarketed with a new title: What Not to Do When You Get Married. Regardless, the novel explores the disturbing ways that manipulation, power, and control can make relationships go ridiculously bad.

Questions About Marriage

  1. Why do Nick and Amy fall in love to begin with? What initially attracts them to each other?
  2. What's the first point in Nick and Amy's marriage where things start to go badly? Is it possible that if they had handled this moment differently, things would have changed? Or are they just so dysfunctional that they're seriously beyond hope?
  3. What does it really mean to have "unconditional love" for someone? What about Amy's definition is off base or unrealistic?
  4. Imagine that there's a new scene at the end of the book where Amy and Nick duke it out Celebrity Deathmatch style. What song is playing when each of them enters the ring?

Chew on This

Nick and Amy's parents' relationships have a negative impact on their ability to establish a healthy marriage of their own.

Nick and Amy's attraction to each other comes from their mutual egos and desire for attention. Their marriage might seem awful to outsiders, but they're actually a perfect match.

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