From Cool Girl to Dead Girl: Gone Girl and the Allure of Female Victimhood
This chapter focuses on Gillian Flynn’s most recent novel, Gone Girl (2012), and the fetishisation of female victimhood as a cultural phenomenon. This novel centres on a female protagonist whose canny ability to control the dynamics of her own apparent helplessness is unmatched by her literary predecessors. Her successful exploitation of the popular news narrative surrounding missing and murdered white women highlights the potentially harmful cultural implications of this cultural fascination with particular kinds of victimhood. The aim of this chapter is to evaluate Flynn’s success (or lack thereof) in exploring the obsession with female victimhood as a type of symbolic subjugation, which may be interpreted as simultaneously reassuring and restrictive.
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