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Fight Club: Search for Identity

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    Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club is a revolutionary, cynical novel that portrays the need for identity in life and Palahniuk explains, through the narrator’s personality disorder, that the desire for meaning is the sole internal incentive of civilization. The protagonist is powerless and his consequent struggles include emotional troubles, homophobia as well as his inclination towards aggression. The narrator created by Chuck Palahniuk in the novel Fight Club was that perfect employee, with the perfect home, and perfect image. This idea caused him to feel numb, as if he was just a copy of a copy. Tyler however is an illusion generated by the narrator’s mind. He represents a way for the narrator to escape reality, to live a life opposite of his own. He seems to be everything that the narrator is not; he represents the suppressed aspects of the narrator’s personality.

    Tyler is the perfect man for the narrator, he is a paradigm of freedom and power, and it is exactly what is missing in the narrator’s life. He is also a primal, violent person who gets everybody’s attention when he is in a room; he seems to be always right. Palahniuk writes, “I know this, because Tyler knows this” (112): it emphasizes how the narrator considers Tyler as a forceful and smart person – even, a dogmatist. Tyler is fascinating and motivated; he has the ideas, and the narrator follows. He is a manipulator who transforms people as he wants them to be. As the narrator asserts, “Tyler didn’t care if other people got hurt or not. The goal was to teach each man in the project that he had the power to control history” (Palahniuk, 122). In Tyler’s opinion, a person needs to be remembered in History- a person lost in modern society with no identity has no value in living his life.

    Therefore, he manipulates and changes people that have difficulties to live a consistent, exciting and happy life – easy targets. He focuses on their weaknesses and creates in them a new desire: the desire to create their own history. He turns these men into ‘space monkeys’ and that becomes Tyler’s greatest strength. He, consequently, creates a terrorist group who has anarchists’ plans. Throughout the novel, the narrator becomes more and more reluctant towards Tyler. Modern man’s job, pursuit of materials, and class can affect the way they live their life by rebellion toward society. A person’s job can affect the way they view life and that leads to what type of actions they carry out. “Every takeoff and landing, when the plane banked too much to one side, I prayed for a crash. That moment cures my insomnia” (Palahniuk 25).

    The narrator thought about that one moment every time his plane took off and landed, that little moment when what could go wrong he was hoping it did. He had thoughts that had to do with dying as a way to stop all of that stress and death if an easy way to stop all the agony. Having a stressful job that requires a lot of traveling can sometimes make people have these types of thoughts. . He felt at peace with himself and none of life’s problems mattered. Not maintaining a good image: “My boss sends me home because of all the dried blood on my pants, and I am overjoyed” (Palahniuk 63). His boss sends him home because of his appearance, and he looks all beat up with dried blood on his pants and even with his punched-out eyes he doesn’t care because he is overjoyed and wants people to see how happy he is……………… Bruce Hood explains, “Illusions are experiences in the mind, but they are not out there in nature.

    Rather, they are events generated by the brain”………………….. The young men in Fight Club are dissatisfied with society and how society views them. Where they value personal achievement and strength, America values money, possessions, and power. But is there any way out? Can these men ever be satisfied? Tyler Durden wants to return to the old ways; where a man’s self-worth is based on physical prowess and survival skills, not on his job title or the car he drives.

    “Jack” is a character the audience will more than likely feel sympathy for and even come to like. However, it’s obvious that he has serious problems. His main problem, what the audience comes to find out, is his alter ego, Tyler Durden. He struggles to take control as he sees that Tyler’s acts of vandalism are wrong. However, he cannot stop himself until the very end. Even before the character of Tyler Durden is introduced it is clear that Jack has personal problems; insomnia, discontent for his job, and a dependency on support groups. Jack is also faced with a few moral dilemmas as well as constantly being put into danger, another characteristic of the protagonist. Jack’s personality is one of an obedient, yet not very outgoing man. He goes to work, comes home, and wants to add simplicity his life. He tries to set up his life as simply as possible.

    For example, he wears the same white shirt, black pants, and black tie every single day to work. Jack is a very subservient type of person. For example, he goes to meetings his boss doesn’t want to attend. Jack hates his job in addition to hating his life; though he thinks he’s ok with the job and his life but is tired of doing the same thing every day. Another thing that’s important to see that Jack picks out items that would best represent the type of person he is such as the furniture that’s in his house….

    The following study is a critical examination of Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club (1996), acritically acclaimed literary and cinematic event, in terms of certain issues that primarily encompass the exercise of power among men. Theorizing that the social construction of masculinity inevitably involves the loss of power on an individual level of experience, it ishence argued that the anonymous protagonist of Fight Club is powerless, and that hisconsequent struggles open the door to a thorough character study that explains his emotionaltroubles, homophobia, as well as his inclination towards aggression. This study reveals thatthe protagonist initially opts to assert power in a phallic sense of masculinity in anatmosphere marked by the complete absence of the feminine. However, the protagonist’sgradual disillusionment with his struggles entices the study to examine what is heldaccountable for the partial tone of relief that concludes Fight Club

    : reassertion of phallic power, or embracing a third alternative of masculinity?

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    Fight Club: Search for Identity. (2016, Jun 15). Retrieved from

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