Read on how to enrich your life by purpose, i.e. to find depth and, a reason to get out of bed each morning, your own Ikigai.
This October Women’s Web, with JustBooks, is running Book Talk, a writing theme where you get to write (read) about books that inspire us. If you read or watched Gone Girl, you will love this one!
In October, we asked you to write on My Favourite Fictional Female Character: Women Who Rock! This week, we publish the second winning entry, Why The Gone Girl Is My Favourite Female Fictional Character by Ruchika Thukral.
Spoilers ahead in case you haven’t read the book.
Amazing Amy may seem like a very negative choice to some people but if I were to be bone deep honest, I would say she’s the one I associate the most with. A girl, however she is, is labelled with a tag by the people around her for every move she makes. Funny girl, bitch, pansy, behenji, uptight, sweet, slut, fresh, dumb-blonde, can-do-but-won’t, seen-all-done-all.
And for each of these labels, there is a judgment. For every judgment, there is a pecking order in society. But since we all have been taught to ask for society’s approval since we are born, that’s exactly we do. We behave in a certain way, do things we don’t necessarily like, all to get society’s approval.
However, you can’t work out this charade in front of your spouse. You spend years with a person and can’t help not noticing the obsessive-compulsive cleanliness or rage for not being asked opinions in important decisions, or even the ever growing width around hips. ‘Friends see most of each other’s flaws. Spouses see every awful last bit.’
But, when you have to keep the charade up for the person you are supposed to love and cherish and spend your whole life together, that’s when the things turn ugly.
She deals with the cool girl label all the time. In her words, ‘Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.’
Amy finds herself very different from the ideal female which was incidentally the subject her parents made a fortune on. She understands the passive-aggression, but bears with it. She is, in fact, proud of it, refusing to see herself as failure just because society has different standards for an ‘Amazing’ girl. Her husband loves the ‘idea of her’, but can’t deal with the real her. He finds her superior and well-informed, and finds it intimidating. He relocates to a place she hates without consulting her, shifting to her his responsibilities that included taking care of his mother for which he relocated in the first place.
She, like most women, tries to keep everyone happy, running the same charade every day, playing the traditional role of a wife who is supposed to cook meals and look after the house and not think of doing something that she may find worthwhile, ‘Tampon commercial, detergent commercial, maxi pad commercial, windex commercial – you’d think all women do is clean and bleed.’
Amy is intelligent, highly dedicated to whatever she does, whether if it is preparing for an anniversary dinner, creating a treasure hunt of sorts with clues in prose, or planning to implicate her own murder on her husband with whom she can’t connect anymore. The step would come as an over-reaction to some but it seriously takes the mind of a genius to plan something with as much detail as she does and nerves of steel to execute it successfully and yet be back with the upper hand.
She plays the perfect revenge on a man who is supposed to love her, but who withdraws, ignores and finally cheats on her. I don’t say she has no flaws but her psychopathy is not one of them. She fell in love when she wasn’t herself, with a man who wasn’t what he made out to be. Her psychopathy is just the result of a world that is deeply seated in pretense, ‘It’s a very difficult era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person, instead of a collection of personality traits selected from an endless Automat of characters.’
But, she is hardly apologetic. She knows herself, is disciplined and methodical. Her confident and immaculate planning, disarms even FBI. She knows how to fight for herself and treats the world as they treat her and does not feel guilty when she gives them their due. Of course, she is not sacrificing and does not cry for the unfortunate or believe in being truthful or have all the qualities of a ‘good girl’, because she doesn’t wants to be labelled and that’s exactly what I love about her.
Disclaimer: These are my personal views and I’m not preaching/propagating any ideas to anyone. I must impress this strongly to anyone who’s reading this, I’m not out to murder anyone, as you may be led to think, because my favorite fictional female character is Amy Elliot-Dunne or the Amazing Amy.
Ruchika wins a Rs.500 voucher for this entry, from JustBooks, India’s First & Largest Community Library Chain.
JustBooks gives you (and your entire family, from toddlers to teens, dabblers to bookworms), a wide selection of 9 lakh books on an affordable membership plan! You can read unlimited books and at your leisure with no late fee. Don’t forget to check out their excellent reading list for women, and other book recommendations!
Here is a JustBooks special offer just for Women’s Web readers! Use coupon code JBWWD250 to redeem Rs.250 on JustBooks membership plans when you signup.
Crazy thinker, impulsive writer, schizophrenic psychopath.....what!! Ruchi, why would you write that now, huh?
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