"I'll hold myself to him like a climbing, coiling vine until I have invaded every part of him and made him mine." (400)
Amy uses this simile to describe the way she will behave towards Nick after her return. The alliteration of "creeping, coiling" and the negative diction of "invaded" create a sinister tone in this simile. Vines are not necessarily negative, as they are part of nature. Amy, however, uses the simile to suggest how she will dominate and overtake Nick. The simile reveals that this will be a subtle process. Just like how a vine grows only a small amount every day, Amy will gradually increase her control over Nick so that he will not realize what is happening until he is too late. The imagery of natural growth suggested by the vine simile also foreshadows Amy's pregnancy.
Amy's Nature (Metaphor)
"I am a thornbush, bristling from the overattention of my parents." (353)
Amy uses this metaphor to describe herself, and why she and Nick are a good fit together. By likening herself to a thornbush, Amy reveals that she can be violent and cause pain and suffering. However, the metaphor also suggests that her nature is not necessarily her fault. A thornbush occurs naturally and doesn't intend to deliberately cause pain: it just is the way it is. The metaphor highlights the role of Amy's parents in grooming and shaping her into someone who has these sharp edges and hurtful tendencies. The metaphor might be seen as Amy trying to absolve her behavior, but it does reveal something about the way she sees herself. It is also a rare moment of honesty wherein she does not try to be something she is not.
Amy's Thinking (Simile)
"Her thoughts shuttling through those coils like fast, frantic centipedes." (3)
Nick uses this simile to describe the way he imagines Amy's brain to work. The simile of her thoughts resembling centipedes suggests her intelligence and sharp wit. Ideas can scurry through her brain with great speed. The alliteration of "fast, frantic" reinforces the imagery of speed. The simile also reveals that her thoughts are somehow unsavory. Centipedes are not likeable creatures, and usually treated as disgusting. They have to hide in order to avoid being eliminated. Amy's dark thoughts therefore also have to be hidden away because people would be disgusted if they knew what really went on inside her head.
The Riverside at Sunset (Metaphor)
"the slowly setting sun a spotlight on the east, turning everything golden and lush, a Flemish painting." (31)
Nick uses this metaphor to describe the appearance of the riverside at sunset. He compares the scene to a beautiful Flemish painting. By using the metaphor, Nick suggests that the appearance of beauty may not be real, or that it might be hiding something. A painting is only an image, not reality. The apparently peaceful and beautiful summer evening may be masking dark truths underneath. The metaphor of a painting echoes the way Amy has deliberately composed and designed her abduction, staging it so that everything looks just right.
The Person Amy Becomes (Metaphor)
"My wife was no longer my wife but a razor wire knot daring me to unloop her." (49)
Nick uses this metaphor to describe the kind of person Amy becomes as she grows more frustrated with him and with their life. By comparing Amy to razor wire, Nick suggests her capacity to hurt people. The metaphor also reveals the way Amy shut him out, as razor wire is usually used to prevent someone from entering a space. Because he was afraid of getting hurt, Nick started to avoid her, leading to the two growing apart. The metaphor of the wire being knotted suggests his difficulty understanding her and seeing through her lies. Just as it is difficult to unloop a knot, Nick cannot figure his wife out.
Gone Girl Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Gone Girl is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.