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.