To What Extent Do You Agree That Fight Club Is an Updated Version of the Great Gatsby That Captures the Zeitgeist of Modernism?
English and Literature
Submitted By kamilev
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 longer defining who you are but how ‘’now they own you’’. They do not make him feel happy or give him any sense of accomplishment, and it seems pointless to him; they merely demonstrate his buying power. In order for him to sustain this illusion of happiness and completeness, the narrator must continue to work the job that he finds most repulsive as he has become disappointed with the consumerism...