Infidelity is a leading cause to marital breakdowns, as it impacts the foundation of a marriage. To be successful in a marriage it requires two people, to make it work. There are factors of things that can make a marriage fall apart but infidelity in marriages is the most major one, as it can impact the individuals themselves. Infidelity in marriages from Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn and Shakespeare’s Othello brings out the emotions that can lead to outbreaks of sociopathic acts, which can affect the livelihoods of their relationship.
After infidelity occurs, an outbreak is bound to happen. The three courses of action that lead to outbreaks result from loneliness, and that comes from the lack of communication, feeling powerless, this comes from one partner dominating the other partner and lastly jealousy is the breaking point in both the novels, and that determines the fate between the two couples in Gone Girl and Othello. In order for a strong and healthy relationship, communication is a key component. In Gone Girl and Othello, the protagonists both lack communication skills within each other when they suspected their spouses of infidelity; it was their loneliness that made them not communicate within one another, as it can do serious damage to those around them and to themselves. In Gone Girl, Amy knew that her relationship with Nick was going downhill when things started to change, in fact Nick and Amy both knew that they weren’t themselves and that they truly were not happy. Amy saw Nick with a younger woman, and came to a realization that “her husband threw her over for a younger woman” (Flynn 234). Although she knew about the affair she never confronted Nick about it, she simply acted like she never knew, and hid her emotions underneath her. Relationships are based off of trust, compromises and understanding each other.
Infidelity is the quickest and the most painful way to break someone’s trust. As Nick was “desperate to please his wife . . . for two years he tried as his old wife slipped away . . .
he tried so hard—no anger, no arguments” (Flynn 211). After realizing that one’s marriage is in trouble, one partner should be able to realize that it is difficult to maintain a marriage when there is only one person trying to fix it. Amy and Nick were not supportive of each other, they both seem uninterested and unable to speak to each other about what was in front of them. They both tried making an effort but it was not enough.
In the novel, it portrays how poor communicators they are to each other. Although their spark is gone, they did once love one another, but their lack of communication made them feeling lonely, as it made Amy desperate.Just like Amy from Gone Girl, Othello in Othello lacked the key component of his communication skills in his marriage. Othello and Desdemona are newlyweds that love each other dearly. In a snap of a finger Othello’s entire view of his wife changes as Iago corrupts his mind causing him to doubt his marriage. Iago assures Othello that his beloved Desdemona has been unfaithful to him, by having an affair with Cassio.
Though he does not believe him at first, he later trusted Iago’s judgment rather than him seeing the evidence himself. He tells Iago “If more thou dost perceive, let me know more” (Shakespeare 3.3 245), rather than confronting Desdemona or even Cassio, he assigns Iago to gather more evidence, when he could have simply just asked them. Othello never demanded Iago enough to get concrete evidence of Desdemona’s supposed affair, but is rather satisfied with jumping to conclusions and knowing the half-truths. If Othello had not been so foolish, and had made Iago give him concrete proof of the affair instead of implications, he might have been able to catch Iago’s scheme. As Othello suspected his wife of infidelity, he never spoke directly to her about it, but when he did approach her, he hinted it at her by telling her to swear that she has been faithful to him when she assures him by saying “Your wife, my lord. Your true and loyal wife” (Shakespeare 4.2 36).
Desdemona confused when he approached her. He accused her for lying and disrespected her by implying that she is a whore. Although he was not able to confront his wife, he also refused to talk to Cassio after taking his position away, had he done so, Cassio would not have had to go through Desdemona to get his position back and Iago would not have a way to initiate that she was being unfaithful. In both Gone Girl and Othello, infidelity in their marriages leads them to feel lonely and desperate from their lack of communication.
It shows that marriage is hard work and requires two people for it to function properly; a key factor of it requires good communication. Without it they fall apart. Not only does infidelity in marriages bring out the sense of loneliness because of the lack of communication, it can also bring out feeling powerless over your partner. There is no such thing as a perfect relationship; there are flaws within everyone. In most relationships there is always one partner that dominates and has a control over their partner. In Gone Girl, Amy Dunne has control and power over her husband. Whereas in Othello, the men had dominance over their wives, Othello had complete dominance over Desdemona. In both the novels the feeling of being powerless is what Nick and Desdemona experienced because they felt controlled by their spouses who lead them to have a reputation of infidelity.
In Gone Girl Amy controlled her husband’s life from the day she disappeared. When the police were looking Amy, she leaves little clues for them to find and have a conclusion to who the murderer was. “No matter how many clues Nick have solved, He would be forced with some trivia to unman him” (Flynn 321). This indicates that Nick was trapped and every step he takes, the police would find something against him. When Amy is controlling Nick, all she thinks about is that “he took everything from her until she no longer existed. For her, that is murder” (Flynn 367). This signifies that Nick took everything away from her and as a result, she controls his life and how other views him as a person.
“Sometimes she thinks that she is moving through this work alone, unseen and unnoticed. However, she believes that she should not believe that for a second” (Flynn 278). This important passage indicates that although she feels alone from a horrible marriage, she knows Nick is under her wing and that proves that she will never be alone. In addition, Amy has power over her husband. She controls his life and he is living his life dominated by his wife. Amy Dunne from Gone Girl and the men in Othello show similar dominated characteristics as they control their spouse’s life and as result, it benefits them.The women of Othello play almost no roles with dominance. Once a woman is married she has more rules to follow, she especially needs to be more submissive to her husband and more faithful to him or else she would be branded as a whore.
Even Desdemona states that she is obedient, continuing to obey Othello’s orders from the beginning of their happy relationship through to the later parts of their marriage with his jealous ravings. She replies to Othello with very obedient words like, ‘I will, my lord’ or ‘commend me to my kind lord’ Even knowing the fact that Desdemona herself was going to die, she chose to proceed in her role as the subordinate and obedient wife. Even Emilia mainly known as a stronger character is aware of her role in society. When revealing Iago, she states, ‘Tis proper I obey him, but not now’ She betrays her husband, but she still feels the need to explain herself. Society makes women feel the need to always have to support their husbands even if their actions are questionable. Brabantio speaks of women as the proper Venetian ideology on how women should be. Before Desdemona and Othello, Brabantio described Desdemona as perfection. As the Venetian Senate, he sets the traditional expectations in women.
When Desdemona runs off with Othello, Brabantio describes his daughter, ‘against all rules of nature’. It is known to be natural if a woman is feminine, but anything else from that is almost unsought of. The women of Othello act accordingly to the ideological expectations, as it is the norm. Infidelity can make you vulnerable to the acts of jealousy and hatred, but it can also make some individuals feel that their love can make them do anything for them. In Gone Girl and Othello, the two major character’s purpose of events was because of their spouse. However, the two characters have similar reasons behind their actions. In Gone Girl, Amy and Othello are both insecure and jealous because of their spouse’s infidelity and that is what drove them both to the edge. Despite Amy’s actions and her choices in Gone Girl, she loves her husband dearly.
Nick ruins their relationship by cheating on Amy with his mistress, Andie. Even though the marriage feels like a failure on Amy’s side of the relationship, she is enraged in anger because he disrespected her. She cannot admit the fact that her husband feels unhappy with her and that he replaces her with a younger “cool girl”. Amy is jealous of Andie because “cool girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool girls never get angry . . .
and let their men do whatever they want” (Flynn 222). Amy was once the “cool girl”, but when she stopped pretending to be what she was not, her marriage collapsed. She pretended to be the girl that Nick wanted her to be, she was whoever anyone wanted her to be, now Andie is his new “cool girl”. As a result, Amy handles the situation in a cunning way.
The cheating is what drove her to create her master plan to get revenge on her husband for having an affair. Amy and Nick’s marriage failed and is the reason of Amy’s psychotic plan. The infidelity in Nick and Amy’s marriage brought out the emotions that led to her psychotic outbreak. Amy uses Nick’s flaws as a bait to destroy him, by impregnating herself with Nick’s sample that she saved from the fertility clinic, so that she could “hold herself to him like a climbing, coiling vine until she has invaded every part of him and made him hers” (Flynn 400). By getting herself pregnant she knew that she would have Nick in for good, and that he would not be able to leave, not without looking like a jerk, after his wife comes home pregnant with his child. If Nick no longer belonged to Amy, he will belong to no one other than her. In the novel, it portrays how Nicks infidelity in their marriage lead to her jealousy and that resulting in her final outbreak to accomplish her psychotic masterminded plan. Her goal was accomplished.
Amy trapped Nick under her skin, with no way for him to escape. Nick had no choice to stay with Amy because he did not want to abandon his unborn child and make him grow up with up without a fatherly figure, unlike he did.Similarly, in Othello, Othello is driven to his psychotic outbreak from jealousy, caused by Cassio. His jealousy blinded him from the truth from the lies that Iago planted into “The moor’s already changed with his poison. Dangerous conceits are in their natures poison which at the first are scarce found to distaste” (Shakespeare 3.3 335-337).
Othello cares about his wife so much that he that it made it easy for him to progress hate towards her and to become jealous of Cassio. Othello’s jealousy grows as Iago provides him with more evidence that Desdemona has been unfaithful, the handkerchief in Cassio’s room was enough for Othello to prove that Desdemona has cheated on him, because Othello views it as if she threw away their marriage. Iago see’s love as a game and knows exactly how to play it. Jealousy in marriages is a common barrier to having a healthy relationship.
Othello’s jealousy was so strong “thus when thou art dead, and he will kill thee And love after. One more tie and this the last” (Shakespeare 5.2 19-21). Jealousy and anger are an individual’s emotions reactions to believing the scenarios planted into the brain that may or may not even be true. He was so caught up in thinking about the affair, Othello never once tried to hear Desdemona’s plead of innocence. As a result he killed his wife to get rid of her uncommitted sin, because of her infidelity.
He loved her so much that no one else can her and he realized that he could not live without her and results in him killing himself. Overall, Gone Girl and Othello contrast because of infidelity in marriages. Jealousy in marriages is a common barrier to having a healthy relationship. Both Amy and Othello believe that if they cannot have their spouses, no one else can. There are a number of factors that can lead to outbreaks of sociopathic acts, and in this case.
The feeling of loneliness, powerless, jealousy is what drove Amy Dunne’s, Othello’s to their outbreaks. In both these novels, jealousy was what opened the door to their sociopathic acts. They wanted to destroy each other and would do anything in order for them to reach their goals. In conclusion, Infidelity in marriages in Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn and Shakespeare’s Othello, brought out the emotions of loneliness from a lack a communication, feeling powerless from spouse dominance and jealousy that lead to outbreaks of sociopathic acts, which affect the livelihoods of Othello and Desdemona’s relationship along with nick and Amy’s. The two novels had similarities and differences in the major theme. In Gone Girl it is shown that Nick does have an affair whereas in Othello, Desdemona is only suspected of infidelity, when in reality she had remained faithful to the moor the entire time. In addition Othello and Amy’s actions benefited themselves, but however ruins their partners image, and results in a downfall for each of them. Lastly, the novel shows differences in the purpose of events.
In Gone Girl, Amy made her psychotic plan to ruin her partner because of jealousy. However, in Othello, he did it out of love no matter what the consequences were. In the novels it is portrayed that Othello and Amy both had the same motivations, if they couldn’t have their loved ones, then no one can.
Their selfish needs brought them to this outcome. Othello made it clear by killing Desdemona, resulting in him killing himself because he couldn’t live without her. Amy however manipulated Nick into staying with her, because she impregnated herself with his child. Although Othello and Amy had ulterior motives, everything revolved around their spouse’s infidelity in their marriages and their actions lead to them having a sociopathic outbreak in their marriages.