Fight Club Essay

776 words - 4 pages

Fight Club is not about winning or losing. Paul Palahniuk’s Fight Club is about the issues of masculinity in our modern capitalist society. It is a novel about men who resist conforming to what society defines as masculine. In our present day culture, men are presented with the ideal form of masculinity that they are expected to achieve such as being successful in the work place, going to the gym, and grooming yourself to look attractive. The unnamed narrator of the story undergoes an identity crisis, which is a result of capitalism; he struggles to find himself by going through various support groups before finally attending Fight Club. The consumer driven society has replaced the traditional values of masculinity, which creates conflicts and becomes the catalyst for Fight club: a place to re-masculinize through physical combat.
At first, the narrator conforms to the uneventful and dull capitalist society. He fines success in his work at an automobile manufacture, has obtained a large portion of his Ikea catalog, and has an expansive wardrobe. He is defined by his possessions and has no identity outside his furniture, which he remarks, “I wasn’t the only slave of my nesting instincts” (Palahniuk, 43) and “I am stupid, and all I do is want and need things.” (Palahniuk, 146) For the narrator, there is no fine line between the consumer [narrator] and the product. His life at the moment is a cycle of earning a wage, purchasing products, and representing himself through his purchases. “When objects and persons exist as equivalent to the same system, one loses the idea of other, and with it, any conception of self or privacy.” (Article, 2) The narrator loses sight of his own identity; he has all these material goods, but lacks the qualities of a manly life.
It is only after the explosion of his apartment that he moves in with his friend, Tyler, which things begin to change. Tyler was quite the opposite of the narrator: he lives in an old abandon house and does whatever he wants. Tyler is the one who introduces the narrator to Fight Club where he realizes that life under capitalism is unbearable and alienating. After Tyler and him get into their first fight, he goes through a form of “masculine renaissance.” Fight Club...

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