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Fight Club

In: English and Literature

Submitted By twinkle32
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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 Tyler’s Project Mayhem. While on a mission for Project Mayhem Bob is killed. “His name is Robert Paulson”(178) becomes some kind of chant for the other members of project mayhem. The narrator, Tyler and the rest of the members of fight club and project mayhem claim to be angry because of the way they were raised by woman and emasculated, they come to admire a man who literally has been emasculated. The idea of masculinity in the novel is depicted in a intense way. The Narrator goes to say “ what you see at fight club is a generation of men raised by woman” ( 50) . These men feel that they have been overpowered by the female presence that they didn’t have a chance to create a distinct male identity. This is why they fight, because they associate fighting with masculinity. The members of fight club do not feel that their jobs are allowing them to grow as individuals, so they come to feel irrelevant. By being in fight club they hope to get rid of the unnecessary parts of their lives and discover themselves. To the members of fight club fighting makes them feel alive and allows them to connect with their masculine side that they don’t find in their normal life. Throughout the novel both Tyler and the narrator express dissatisfaction with their state of masculinity and offer their own solution in the form of fight club. The narrator’s struggle lies within his aspirations to find some form of masculinity that is best for him. The narrator has his own idea of what masculine is and notices that he only fits a small part of the characteristics. This disparity of how he views himself and how he thinks he should be gives rise to his feeling of not being masculine, disappointment and leads to the narrator’s alter personality Tyler Durden to keep coming to life. Tyler in a way becomes a father figure to the men of fight club. He does this by taking the men under his guidance and giving them a feeling of purpose and belonging that they have been searching for. The way Tyler does this is interesting because he kind of acts like a kid who is looking for attention. He would put bits of pornography in films when he worked as a projectionist or he would pee in food when he worked as a waiter. Fight club becomes a place for these men to reclaim their masculinity with the hopes of finding who they are. From the time the narrator meet Tyler he looks up to him. But once Tyler leaves him he has the same feeling of being unwanted and starts to feel the same bitterness he felt towards his father. Later in the novel the narrator learns that Tyler is a separate personality within himself. Because of him having two personalities, the narrator has a conflict within himself because he basically himself (when he was Tyler) to become his own father figure. The narrator feels the only way to get rid of Tyler is to prove that he can do things for himself. Because the reason Tyler was created in the first place was so he can be a leader for him. At this moment he proves to himself that he did not need the father figure that he was so obsessed with having. Fighting is a way for these men to not only reclaim their masculinity they believe was lost because of the fact they did not have a father figure but also to be free from society. The men in fight club are mostly misguided. They truly believe that fighting will help them to regain the masculinity that was lost due to the fact they were raised mostly by woman. This view gives them a false association between masculinity and violence.

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