A main theme and emphasis in Gillian Flynn’s top seller, Gone Girl, is the impact and affect of media. For my final writing project, I will examine and analyze Flynn’s perspective and incorporate my own and research. I chose this for my writing project because the affect of media surely interests me and I find it amazing how much power we give it. I am directly guilty of following the pressures of the media and I thought it would be interesting to examine how Flynn incorporates this prominent theme into her mysterious and thrilling novel.
There are scenes from the novel that Flynn takes the time to explain in detail, with good imagery, that portrays the excessive role of media in our culture. Character Nick constantly has hundred or reporters, cameras, interviewees and other gossipers looking for information. He barely even stays at his own house because of the amount of people peeking into his windows and drilling questions into him as he enters his home. Even Go’s house is swarmed with news casters and other people working for the media. Flynn’s idea throughout the novel is that the media has a way to manipulate the public into believing a certain way. Nick mentions countless of times about how “the husband is always the bad guy,” which is why he thinks that the public see’s him as the murderer. It is common for the husband or even the male to be the guilty one, so therefore, he is the first accused of committing the crime. Flynn uses this to relay the theme of the power the media has in easily persuading the public to think a certain way.
Another way Flynn incorporates this theme is Nick’s constant reference to TV shows, movies and other technology driven tools. This portrays the dependence on the movies and television or social media. This is used a tool to help Nick figure out how he “should” act. Nick says, “I cant recall a single amazing thing I have seen firsthand that I didn’t immediately reference to a movie or TV show.” This idea is closely knit to how dependent our society is on the “secondhand experience” that Nick talks about (72). People are influenced by the information they hear second hand, like the information from the social media, rather than first hand information.
Lastly, Flynn exemplifies this reoccurring theme through Nick’s unofficial interview in the bar. Nick speaks highly of his runaway wife and expresses his “deep love” for her, which we know is fake. However, he does it for a reaction from the social media and society and it works. People again, are manipulated and swayed into believing a certain thing depending on how the media reacts. Since the media saw Nick as a genuine guy in this scene of the novel, people were actually believing he wasn’t guilty. It was that easy.
I am fascinated by the fact that we as a society and culture give the media so much power and I completely agree with Flynn’s ideas and perspectives. She portrays the media as overbearing and overwhelming and it really seems to be getting like that. News spreads within seconds through the social media. It’s amazing. As time goes on, the media is getting more involved and pushing into person lives without hesitation. Everyone is looking for the top story and will do anything to get it. Although Flynn may have portrayed the media as a little more excessive and overbearing than it really is, I think that someday it will actually be that intense. In my final writing project, I plan to take direct quotes from the novel to reveal Flynn’s perspective and incorporate research into the idea of why the husband or male is often accused of being guilty prior to accusing a woman or someone else.
If You Don’t Try, You Will Never Know
Freshman year is quickly coming to an end with only four weeks left. It feels like just a month ago I was packing my bags into the trunk and crying out the window as we left my driveway. That was one of the hardest days of my life. I knew it was a new chapter in my life that would be the beginning of a new story but I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready to leave my closely-knit family and experience dorm life. I don’t like change. I was excited but scared, sad but curious. Saying goodbye to my friends who had been there for me for the last ten years of my life, to know fun times would turn into memories and that everyone would be departing their own way and finding a new path was unimaginable. Everyone was so excited to leave the small town of Petaluma and leave their nagging parents and strict rules. I wasn’t. I just wasn’t ready. Still don’t know if I am.
Maybe that was the reason my transition was so hard. Maybe that is why I couldn’t open myself up and accept these changes. It was hard, probably one of the hardest times of my life so far. Being far away from home where I had no family or friends, where I couldn’t just go home for a nicely cooked meal and where support wasn’t just in the next room over. That was hard. I just wasn’t happy and all I wanted was to be happy again. I missed my family and friends, I missed my home but most of all I missed comfort. There was none here for me and I wanted to get out of here so bad. I began transfer apps and other options. I wasn’t even sure I was going to be able to come back for second semester. It was just too much change at once.
Second semester began and completely turned things around. I was done being upset, I was done crying to the point where I couldn’t stop, and I was just done with it. I came back for second semester with a new attitude, an idea that things could and would get better and they did. I can’t really explain how and why it happened but things just started coming together. Unneeded relationships from home were ended and my soon to be best friend entered my life. I am a strong believer of that quote, “when you have enough courage to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello” and that is exactly what happened. I guess things really do happen for a reason and I can honestly say I am the happiest I have been in a while.
Even though first semester was terrible, people were worried about me and I felt so lost and weak, like it was out of my control. But it taught me a lot and as much as I wanted to give up and go home or transfer, I am so happy I stuck through it because it changed me as a person and taught me a lot of good lessons. It taught me that no matter how hard things get, that they will get better. And I am honestly so proud I got through some of the toughest months of my life. It gives you a feeling that you can conquer anything. This experience showed me my true friends and family and how grateful I am for them. It also just made me a stronger person all around. I feel determined and lucky to be here now. You can tell it’s a good sign when you look forward to the future! The difference between semesters is night and day, my whole world changed around and I am so grateful for that. I am capable. Sometimes people need to fall down and get back up to realize that.
Twisted with thoughts
Alone with fear
Confused by words
Hurt by silence
Fuzzy like the black and white films from the past;
Hazed like cloudy December days.
Warm butterflies, soft heart, comforting arms
Jealous feelings, sharp stabs, unexpected twists
The inconsistency, the tormenting, the daunting ideas,
The compassion, the hope,
The dream that this may last forever
Fear holds us back, holds us from that feeling.
Fear embodies the brain and empowers it.
Fear of rejection, fear of love, fear of dishonesty, fear of trust
But, if you don’t try something you fear, how will you ever know?
It is powerful and weak,
It is scary and beautiful
We may be lost with it,
But really we are lost without it.
“Think about it: a time when newly graduated college kids could come to New York and get paid to write. We had no clue what were embarking on careers that would vanish with a decade.”
Nick and Amy from Gone Girl were both writers who lost their job. In the first couple pages of the book, Nick explains his magazine career that soon vanished with the creation of the Internet. This quote was taken directly from the text when Nick explains the large change in the writer’s world. This idea stuck out to me because my Dad works in the magazine business in New York City and he is experiencing similar issues.
He graduated with a master’s degree in Journalism and lived in the heart of magazine business, New York. When he first started, the magazine business was a high and acknowledgeable business to be in. It was flourishing. When I was a young child he was working in the US weekly and then New York Magazine. He was a writer and wrote and edited articles for the magazine. He noticed the shift in the business as time progressed.
He moved to Colorado about seven years ago because he was done with the city life and he adored Colorado for the weather and the number of active people. A couple years later he decided to move back to New York to make money and get a career again. This time, it was harder, a lot harder. Finding a job in the magazine business was struggling because they weren’t hiring a lot of people and their businesses were falling. He finally got a job as an editing manager and is still involved in that business but he sees the dying business first hand and says, there won’t be magazines pretty soon. A lot of Dad’s work is for the online publication of the magazine. He says that with the creation of Ipads, the magazine business has taken a turn for the worst. People aren’t buying hard copies of magazines because they can just get it on their Ipad or computers. This business like Nick explains, is coming to an end. Something that was so amazing and popular is dying because of the technology advances. Some say this is a good thing and others don’t. It will save trees, that’s for sure, but people like my Dad and Nick will loose their job that was once high paying.