Free Essay

Fight Club Essay

In: Other Topics

Submitted By simon1707
Words 562
Pages 3
Fight Club
In “Fight Club” by Chuck Palahniuk we follow The Narrator in his problem-riddled everyday life, and his attempt to escape it by fabricating an alternate identity. The essay focuses on themes such as masculinity vs. emasculation, violence and the connection inbetween. Secondly, the essay includes references to the theoretical text “The Crisis of Manliness”.
In the text “Fight Club” we follow the unnamed narrator or The Narrator in his daily life at Microsoft. Suffering from relationship problems, self-esteems problems and an insufferable boss, The Narrator has a hard time suffering from insomnia because of this. To handle his problems, he starts a fight club with his alter ego, also known as Tyler Durden. The text uses first person narration, as we see through The Narrators eyes, but also the thought of Tyler Durden, as they are the same person, even though he is written as an independent character in chapter 6.
The Narrator and Tyler Durden start fight club as a way to regain their masculinity. This violence begins in the parking lot behind a bar, where Tyler tells the Narrator to hit him. The Narrator is reluctant at first, but gives in. In return he receives a punch to the chest by Tyler. This is the beginning of The Narrators self-realization. The Narrator agrees with Tyler that self-destruction is the way to self-improvement.
The Narrator mentions the fight club as not being a solution to his problem, but rather a way to escape from the problems, as mentioned in the text: “Nothing was solved when the fight was over, but nothing mattered”. According to the text “The Crisis of Manliness”, The Narrators problems stem from being fostered in a home absence of a clear idea of what it means to be a mean, causing them to react against their jobs by revering to the crudest form of macho violence. In the case of Fight Club, the crudest form of macho violence is simply beating up your other man to the point of them giving up or going limp. In “Fight Club” the movie, it is also mentioned that The Narrator (and Tyler Durden) both grew up without their fathers, and being raised by their mothers. The Narrator himself realizes this is the problem of society, as he describes the members of his newly founded fight club to be a “Generation raised by women”.
The Narrator explains the rules of the fight club, the first 2 being “Do not talk about fight club”. Even though the members don’t talk about it in public, The Narrator often meets these people, recognizable by their equally visible scars and bruises. This signifies a brotherhood amongst the members of the fight club, who have regained their masculinity, and now stand together as a new people in society. This later lead to a revolution spearheaded by Tyler Durden, unbeknownst to The Narrator, involving a plan to blow up large skyscraper simply to cause chaos in society. This conflict leads to The Narrator killing his alter ego Tyler in the last scene of the movie.
To sum up, Fight club is a reflection on a society of men lacking manliness and masculine role figures. Both Fight Club and The Crisis of Manliness show the effects this can have on society, and what effects the solution to the problem can have.

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Fight Club Essay

...Alan Badel English 100/Major Essay #2 Professor Raymond Morris 23 October 2015 The Fight Club Aims to Free Individuals from Society’s Emasculating Shackles Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club is an exciting fictional novel that will hold the audience captive following three revolving main characters in Marla Singer, Tyler Durden, and the narrator himself as they take the reader through confusing twists and perspectives, while providing a most revealing closure. Although the title suggests an exclusive organization focused on violence, the novel describes the emasculation of man in today’s modern age of consumerism, societal associations and family structure along with the main and sub-characters’ exercising of power and submission to power as evident throughout the novel. Chuck Palahniuk’s values illustrate in the novel how humanity is being enslaved by the power of consumerism, brought to general awareness a new mental disorder, and how he portrayed the narrator having experienced or enacted numerous anarchistic efforts in the hopes of being freed from the confines of an industrialized and necessity-driven society. It should also be noted that several rebellious acts were performed by the fight club members and subsequently members of Project Mayhem in order to gain notoriety and power in response to being economically and socially subdued. To understand the novel’s numerous projection of emasculation, masculinity will need to be established. Man’s foundation of masculinity...

Words: 2859 - Pages: 12

Premium Essay

Essay on Fight Club

...Greek god, who went back to the city of Cadmus in Thebes to seek vengeance for his mother Semele, whom had a child with Zeus, but was denied this birth right by the plotting of his grandfather Cadmus and his aunts, one of them being Agava, the mother of the reigning king; Pentheus, in the land of Thebes. (Euripides, 410BC) Ed Norton (narrator) is working in an insurance firm and feels that his life has become too monotonous and he does not feel alive to it. This starts manifesting in his lack of sleep and a suggestion to visit a testicular cancer meet by his doctor sets him off on his self-discovery. Tyler who is one and the same (a projection) of the two main characters of the plot in Fight club is a soap sales man. The narrator of the movie (who remains unnamed) sets out to start a fight club with this soap sales man he met on the plane. The concept is triggered by a mutually agreed scuffle they have while leaving a pub to go home. The patterns of behavior of Dionysus and Tyler via Ed Norton are uncanny. First of all the audience in the movie only learn that Tyler Durden is a projection of Ed Norton at the tail end of the movie, Dionysus on his part also sets out to hide his true identity from the people of Thebes when he sets out on his journey to redeem his mother’s honor, this we are told in the first stanza in the excerpt he says: “I have put off the god and taken human shape”(Euripides, 410BC) Dionysus, Tyler/Norton have one triggering course that sets off the......

Words: 1979 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Distinguishing Fantasy from Reality: Comparison Essay Between the Things They Carried and Fight Club

...Don DeLillo’s book, White Noise, tells the story of Jack Gladney and his family. Throughout the book, Jack takes on a professional, fictional persona resembling that of Hitler, being the Chairman of Hitler Studies at the College-on-the-Hill (DeLillo 4). Jack turns his professional persona into this fictional character, something he could transform himself into, as if he was filling a Hitler mold. Jack relies on this Hitler-esque persona to sustain his own personal identity and self-worth, although in his mind, this fake persona is only subsidiary to his own personality. Jack struggles with ascertaining the importance of himself as compared to the importance of his own made-up persona and this notion of fabricated reality becoming more important that actual reality is offered throughout White Noise. While in his role of Chairman of Hitler Studies, he refers to himself as J.A.K. Gladney and dresses in sweeping, dramatic robes while teaching. Jack also takes into consideration the advice of the chancellor, “He wanted me to “grow out” into Hitler. He himself was tall, paunchy, ruddy, jowly, big-footed and dull. A formidable combination. I had the advantages of substantial height, big hands, big feet, but badly needed bulk” (DeLillo 16). This impression of J.A.K. Gladney differed greatly from Jack’s own character, and the fact that he does not know German only adds to the plasticity of his fabricated self. The idea of false reality overtaking actual reality is shown by Jack......

Words: 1904 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Masculinity in Chuck Palahniuk's Work

...Introduction Mass culture would have most readers and viewers believing that the Post-modern American male is a simple creature. Common stereotypes margin male satisfaction in a minimal setting – a Lazyboy armchair in a lounge with a flat screen TV playing ‘the game’ along with primal banter regarding women. More often than not, this is washed down with a beer. With this array of comfort and leisure we are inclined to believe that male lifestyle has reached its peak on the timeline of satisfaction. This was until David Fincher took Chuck Palahniuk’s novel Fight Club and made it into a big budget Hollywood blockbuster. With the male demographic being the hardest to pinpoint in the literature sense, David Fincher’s adaptation helpfully put Palahniuk’s thoughts into the cinematic forefront. This increased the popularity of Palahniuk’s other works and placed him in the cannon of Post-modern American fiction. It is the issues of modern masculinity that grasps critics’ attention more so than any other Palahniuk themes. It is very apparent that masculinity has changed as a natural progression of modernisation. This dissertation will analyse masculinity as it is depicted in Palahniuk’s writings and explore Palahniuk’s intentions and beliefs. I will interpret the responses of select critics in order to gain some understanding of what Palahniuk deems to be the ideal model of masculinity in the modern world, beneath his post-modern twists, transgressive characterization and...

Words: 7055 - Pages: 29

Premium Essay

Emasculated Reality

...Emasculated Reality The novel Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk is filled with a large number of motifs from downward movement and destruction to overall decay. The unnamed narrator uses motifs to show images and pictures of greater themes throughout the novel. The narrator and other main character Tyler Durden share the feeling that civilization has emasculated men and, “What you see at fight club is a generation of men raised by women” (Palahniuk 50). The author shows the reader many themes by describing overly vivid motifs that represent them. Motifs are images that show up throughout a work. Fight Club uses motifs of downward movement and disintegration to point to the larger themes of emasculation, self-destruction and rejection of civilization. Motifs of downward movement in the novel make visible many of the cultural norms, by which the narrator feels extremely emasculated. Not only do cultural norms make him feel emasculated, but also being surrounded by men who don't typically fit the definition of a man. The narrator himself doesn’t fit the definition of a typical man. He works a cubicle 9 to 5 job that is split with being sent all across the country like a carrier pigeon, evaluating insurance claims on failed safety equipment in cars that have already been subject to horrible life threatening accidents. Emasculation hits the narrator when he feels like it pointless to die in a body without few scars. The narrator says, “It’s nothing anymore to have a beautiful......

Words: 1011 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Fight Club Analysis

...Fight Club "There is enough on earth for everybody's need, but not for everyone's greed.” Mahatma Gandhi This quote fits perfectly on me. Even though I have enough clothes to last an entire lifetime, yet I keep finding myself at the mall, buying things I simple do not need at all. And I am not the only one, millions of people is doing the same thing. It is because we need certain things: we desire different certain things. Now what is that problem called? Consumerism. Modern society is based on different things. But one of those things, consumerism, has been growing majorly over the past couple of decades, mainly in America. Americans consume exponentially more than any other country in the world and are the leaders in waste production and It’s not only depression - that is harming the over consumers, it’s also creates lifestyles disease. In many people lives it’s controlling their lives. For a lot of people their main concern is how other people seen. “The things you, end up owning you” – that is a quote from fight club. Fight club is a book/film who shows consumerism at its worst form. The main character is first in the film, completely controlled of consumerism, which is described later in the essay. The book Fight Club is written by Chuck Palahniuk, it was later turned into a film. The Film/book is about a nameless narrator who works for a major car manufacture how can’t sleep. He has insomnia. He stumbles across different types of support groups. They make......

Words: 1753 - Pages: 8

Free Essay

Minimalist Connotations in 'Fight Club'

...Minimalist contentions: Fight Club Introduction Chuck Palahniuk is one of the most influential American fiction writers who emerged in the 1990s. His debut novel, Fight Club (hereafter: FC) reached cult status after the film adaptation by David Fincher was released in 1999, and widespread and divided critical reception was soon to follow. Much of the current debate about Fight Club focuses on the political implications of the text, but most often recourse to it by way of referencing the film. These arguments usually question or celebrate the transgressive potentials of the book (Giroux; Mendieta), or address issues of masculinity brought into the fore by their literary and cinematic representations emergent in the same decade (Tuss; Friday). However, few, if any, have addressed the literary aspirations of the text and its author. Although none of the approaches to the thematic concerns of Fight Club are unjustified, in the argument that follows I will suggest that conclusions drawn and critical judgments passed have been hasty, and not only failed to take into account the formal aspects of story-telling, but that the narrative features of Palahniuk’s text have largely went unexplored, and constitute a blind spot of the reception. Critics condemning or acclaiming the novel, and, indeed, many a cultic reader of Palahniuk ignored Fight Club as a literary narrative, and have inadvertently been repeating the catchphrases of the text, either reinforcing or trying to undermine......

Words: 7514 - Pages: 31

Free Essay

Fight Club

...Fight Club is a story of the narrator’s struggle to gain control over his life. He is in search for an identity in the form of manhood. His masculinity is so repressed because of the absence of a father figure in his life. Because of this he creates Tyler, his alternate personality. Tyler is nothing like anyone the narrator has met, he is self assured and completely free. The narrators alternate personality Tyler Durden is the ultimate alpha-male. Tyler becomes the narrator’s hero and he envied him. After creating Tyler the narrator’s view on the world is adjusted. Tyler ends up changing the narrators life and has him doing things he never thought he would do. Both the narrator and Tyler bond over the fact that both their fathers were not major factors in their lives. The narrator says “ Me, I knew my dad for about six years, but I don’t remember anything”(50). Tyler goes to say that his father was distant and he would only speak to him once a year. Being raised mainly by woman, they both feel they never had a man around to teach them what being a man is. Tyler and the narrator and the generation of men they represent have been trying for years to regain their masculinity and at the same time find a sense of direction. At the support group for men with testicular cancer the narrator meets Bob. Bob later enters fight club and shows he is one of the better fighters that is there. He is seen as a “true man” for his physical abilities. Later on in the book Bob also joins......

Words: 917 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Analysis of "Tuesday" (Fight Club)

...his boss who’ll do the presentation. While he does that, the narrator tells us about fight club and its eight rules. The first and second rule is that you don’t talk about fight club. The following rules are that when someone says stop, or goes limp, the fight is over, two men per fight, one fight at a time and no shoes or shirts are allowed during fights. The fights go on as long as they have to, and if it’s your first night at fight club, you have to fight. Fight club used to be just Tyler and himself, pounding each other, but it grows and is now held every Saturday. The story takes place at an office at the narrator’s work. It’s not directly written that it takes place there, but the reader can assume so by the fact that the narrator and his boss are doing a presentation for their client Microsoft. The narrator describes the location of fight club as well, which is set in the basement of a bar, after the bar closes on Saturday night. The basement is portrayed as dark with a single lamp. The lamp is placed in the middle of the room where the fights take place. That contributes towards creating an atmosphere where it’s the fight that’s in focus. The narrator of the story is also the protagonist. He lives two lives, “Who I am in fight club is not someone my boss knows” ; one as a recall campaign coordinator and one as a member of fight club. Before starting fight club, he was bored with his life and he felt that his “life just seemed too complete” . He...

Words: 806 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Interpersonal

...Hunter Davis-Interpersonal Communication Fight Club Fight Club, a 1999 American film, is a brilliantly constructed film of escaping reality and dealing with pain in the famous art form of fighting. Director David Flincher adapted the film from the 1996 novel. Main actors, Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden and Edward Norton as the narrator, act excellently as they deal with their reality by celebrating violence in underground fight clubs. The narrator becomes involved in a relationship triangle between Durden and a self-indulgent woman, Helena Bonham-Carter as Marla Singer. This Rated R action/drama film takes you on a psychological twist as you learn about how a soap maker and a white collar employee seek out freedom and restoration of masculinity. I would rate this movie 4 out of 5 brains because although it gets confusing, it makes you think and as long as you pay attention you will be able to grasp the concept. On top of making you think, I believe it has educational value, such as for a psychology or English class, it is great to pick apart and analyze many of its aspects. This is a film you’ll be talking and thinking about for days. Edward Norton plays an unnamed narrator who is an everyman and a chronic insomniac. With an unfulfilling white collar job, his only dream is to own all of the contents in an IKEA catalogue. To deal with his pain, he seeks 12-step meetings where he can find comfort in people less fortunate than him and find relief in their distress. These......

Words: 1377 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Fight Club

...Fight Club In the book Fight Club, by Chuck Palahniuk, the narrator is an employee for a travelling car company, who suffers from insomnia. When he asks his doctor for medication the doctor refuses and advises him to visit a support group to witness what suffering really is. The first group the narrator attends is for testicular cancer victims. He finds an emotional release that relieves his insomnia and becomes addicted to support groups. After a flight home from a business trip, the narrator realizes that his apartment was destroyed by a homemade explosion. He calls Tyler Durden, a man who he met on the flight. Tyler and the narrator meet at a bar, and start to fight. They continue to fight, and they start to attract crowds of men. Then they come to an idea to start “Fight Club.” The narrator believes that Tyler Durden is the manifestation of the protagonists attempt to exert control over his own life. The Formation of Fight Club, Project Mayhem, the relationship with Marla Singer, and killing Tyler at the end make him realize what he had become and make him come back into full control of himself. The formation of fight club is the physical aspect of why the narrator has lost control of himself. Fight Club. Fight Club was formed when Tyler and the narrator engaged in a fist fight outside the bar. At the starts of fight club, the narrator could gain control of himself because he could release all of his emotions while in a fight. When the narrator can......

Words: 1195 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

To Fight for What We Are

..."To Fight For What We Are Or What We Need?" People have always had a deep violent nature in their roots as human beings. Although modern American culture tends to suppress this trait, under the right conditions this aggression can be harnessed with positive results. However, before this can happen, eyes must be opened to the realization that life, core values, and everything society has conditioned us to believe is not necessarily the best way to take on the world in which we live. Though its content is both graphic and highly controversial, the film Fight Club is a film that every American man and woman should see. The film tells the story of how “a ticking-time bomb insomniac... and a slippery soap salesman... channel primal male aggression into a shocking new form of therapy.” (FIGHT CLUB) The film is arguably one of the best examples of masterful film making coupled with deep philosophical content and key concepts which analyze modern American society giving new insight to ways of finding purpose and meaning in everyday life. Without a doubt, Fight Club’s name can easily be misinterpreted to many who hear or read it. While it is easy to assume that the film has nothing more to it than men simply fighting each other, in reality “Fight Club presents an overload of thought-provoking material that works on so many levels as to offer grist for the mills of thousands of reviews, feature articles, and post-screening conversations.” (Review: Fight Club) The film was......

Words: 1679 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

Fight Club Paper

...Dustin Wallace 3/1/10 ENC 1102 Robinson Fincher’s Interpretation of Consumerism’s Grasp on Identity “Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy stuff we don't need.” This quote directly from David Fincher’s film The Fight Club perfectly sums up the message of the film. In Fincher’s film, the main character, played by Edward Norton, is an automobile company employee who suffers from insomnia. His life seems to be controlled by material goods and he works a white collar job in American society. This nameless character is meant to represent the average male who leads a boring life and is obsessed with his own material possessions. As the movie progresses this character, the narrator, seeks a more exciting life after meeting Tyler Durden and having his apartment destroyed. Together Tyler and the narrator create the fight club which seems to give them an identity that they never before had. As the fight club grows it becomes Project Mayhem; a rogue project with a goal to erase debt by destroying buildings that records of credit card companys. In his film, The Fight Club, David Fincher attempts to send many different underlying messages to his viewers. However, the main purpose of the film is to encourage the audience to break free from the hold of consumerism and to develop their own identity. In particular, this message is geared towards middle aged men living a sedentary life trying to be something that they......

Words: 1302 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Fight Club and Identity

...Mainstream media is a powerful influence on the construction of an individual’s identity. Use your case study to explore the impact of the media in the construction of identities. In the original edition of “Media, gender and identity”, David Gauntlett stated that identity in modern culture is more “fluid and transformable”1 than ever. If we look at identity 30 years ago and identity in society now, it is true that modern day individuality and labelling has changed extremely over the years. Media that surround us in society today i.e. film, newspapers, magazines, TV, and radio are the things that shape and construct an individual’s identity, more and more so as time and technology progresses. We look to the media to find examples of small parts of our personalities which we can label and define, taking ideas, opinions and behaviours from 100’s if not 1000’s of places and people over time, creating our own individuality. 20-30 years ago, mainstream media was very different to what it is today. The ideas and stereotypes that were portrayed told us how we should be and how we should act, allowing unrealistic expectations to be expected of everyone. Society was pushing people into defining exactly who they were by putting themselves into one traditional category, very resistant to the idea of change and being unique. Today, it seems that, “within limits, mass media is a force for change.”1 As it being easier to create things for other people with more platforms for the public...

Words: 1099 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

To What Extent Do You Agree That Fight Club Is an Updated Version of the Great Gatsby That Captures the Zeitgeist of Modernism?

...To what extent do you agree that Fight Club is an updated version of The Great Gatsby that captures the zeitgeist of modernism? The extent to which Palahniuk’s Fight Club bears resemblance to Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is debatable despite the fact that there are numerous similarities between the two texts in terms of its narrative structure dominant themes and the presentation of characters thus their respective zeitgeist of modernism, both texts have clearly their own mark that make them truly unique. Clearly the extent of the similarities between the two texts cannot be overlooked when Palahniuk stated himself in the Afterword that ‘’Gatsby’s updated a little’’, as both novels have apostolic narratives it can be seen that both reveal the hollow superficial nature that existed within society in both the 1920’s and 1990’s. Fight Club and The Great Gatsby can be contrasted as, Fitzgerald describes Gatsby’s lavish parties, flamboyant suits and mansion to be a template for the narrator’s own existence in ‘Fight Club’. His life is dominated by his IKEA ‘’condo’’ and his own job, which he then finds that he has nothing to live for and is empty inside. He is someone who has ‘’ lost everything’’ and is ‘’ Lost in oblivion. Dark and silent and complete.’’, which also illustrates the impossibility of the American Dream of both novels. ‘’Fight Club’’ thrusts the idea of conspicuous consumption even further as the narrator describes the destruction of material possessions no......

Words: 1904 - Pages: 8