Fight Club: A Battle Between Humanity And Capitalism

2788 words - 12 pages

Within the past few millennia, people have socially evolved away from the aggressive, deep-rooted nature they have been biologically programmed over the past million years to feel (Palahniuk 4). While most have embraced this approach, whether it be through religion or other means, many people, mostly men, feel this suppression is unhealthy and unnatural. Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club, a transgressional piece of fiction, was set in a world of parental abandonment, womanly men, and corrupt political and corporate practices, a dark, nameless city in modern day America (Palahniuk 28). This setting allows for the author to provide a stark comparison over what we have become as a nation compared to what we should be, a nation of self-respecting people with a lack of value on materialistic things, and a push towards Buddhist principles (Reed). Fight Club is about how feminism, commercialism, religion, and politics in modern day America have caused a decline in the masculinity of American, middle-class men and how that has destroyed society as heavily demonstrated by the support group he attends, the fight club he helps start, the terrorist group that sprouts from this, and the Narrator's second personality (Tuss).
The story's second chapter starts the flashback that comprises all but the first and last two chapters of the book. In this scene, the Narrator has been suffering from chronic insomnia and is attending a self help group meant for men suffering from testicular cancer, a treatment sarcastically "prescribed" by his doctor in an effort to make him, the Narrator, feel less narcissistic since the physician himself was unwilling to give him the medicine to treat his insomnia. All of the men in this group have become feminine due to the drugs they were prescribed to counteract the effects of testicular cancer as demonstrated by Robert "Big Bob" Paulson and his "enormous tits" caused by a terribly high dosage of estrogen (Palahniuk 5). Robert is an extremely feminine man and the commercialistic tendencies of the medicine industry had allowed this to happen to him demonstrating that commercialism as a whole is making men more feminine. The group he is attending, Remaining Men Together, also has overarching religious themes as demonstrated by the prayers that they often say when starting the class (Palahniuk 7, Reed). Though these prayers are supposedly there to make the men in the group feel better, by linking this with the negative connotation generally used to describe the coalition, it is expressing the negative effects of Christianity on a society as a whole. This is also used to show how the religion is making men less masculine, what the author is implying is one of the causes of our dystopian society (Price). When Marla Singer enters the story and begins to come to the support group meetings the author's insomnia returns, the feeling that he is a "faker" keeping him awake because he is, in fact, a "faker". As the story continues and the...

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