Fight Club And Feminism Essay

2156 words - 9 pages

The issue at the heart of the David Fincher film, Fight Club, is not that of man’s rebellion against a society of “men raised by women”. This is a film that outwardly exhibits itself as promoting the resurrection of the ‘ultra-male’, surreptitiously holding women accountable for the decay of manhood. However, the underlying truth of the film is not of resisting the force of destruction that is ‘woman’, or of resisting the corruption of manhood at her hand, but of penetrating the apathy needed to survive in an environment ruled by commercial desire, not need. In reality, Fight Club is a careful examination, through parody, of what it means to be a man; carefully examining the role of women in a society busy rushing towards sexual homogeneity. Proponents of lesbian feminist theory, and feminist theorists such as Hélène Cixous and Julia Kristeva, would dismiss Fight Club as mere validation of their conceptualized male, of the “phallocrat”, for its sympathetic portrayal of the whining, emasculated modern-male, and his ‘oppression’ at the hands of a society that values submission over independence (Kristeva 476).
At the beginning of Fight Club, Jack, the protagonist, is a disaffected corporate peon, another “slave to the IKEA nesting instinct”. His apartment reflects his personality, but not in the way he thinks—what his addiction to “clever furniture” does, is reveal the commercially dependent worker-bee for what he is. The film has caricatured modernity, mocking our dependence upon comforts and extravagance, while suggesting that—with the crack at maternity (“nesting instinct”)—masculinity has departed. Jack represents the decay of conceptualized masculinity; his society needs his intellect, not his back. Jack finds himself drawn to support groups where he might revel in the misery of others, uncovering his growing infatuation with pain (in effect, a new addiction). These support groups (notably, the testicular cancer survivors’ group, “Remaining Men Together”) give Jack the emotional stimulation he so desperately craves. It is the enveloping comfort of cathartic release that is his salve; but, like all addictions, tolerance sets in, and the fix must be elevated. Henry A. Giroux, in his essay “Private Satisfactions and Public Disorders: Fight Club, Patriarchy, and the Politics of Masculine Violence”, maintains the argument that Hollywood films, being in a position of public pedagogy, exhibit a great deal of influence and must be regarded carefully; he criticizes the film, saying Fight Club:
…offers up particular notions of agency in which white working class and middle class men are allowed to see themselves as oppressed and lacking because their masculinity has been compromised by and subordinated to those social and economic spheres and needs that constitute the realm of the feminine.
Giroux sees the film “satirizing and condemning the ‘weepy’ process of femininization” that therapy groups offer as compensation for wounds it inflicted upon...

Find Another Essay On Fight Club and Feminism

Fight Club and Our Consumer Identity

1468 words - 6 pages Fight Club and Our Consumer Identity The narrator in the film Fight Club is questioned about his devastated condo and declares, "That condo was my life, okay? I loved every stick of furniture in that place. That was not just a bunch of stuff that got destroyed, that was me!" This attitude of defining self-identity through a consumer culture has become institutionalized in the American society. The film Fight Club addresses the excessive

Fight Club: A Battle Between Humanity and Capitalism

2788 words - 12 pages 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

Criticisms of Consumerism and Materialism in Fight Club

1422 words - 6 pages consumerist criteria; seeking the false promise of the American dream. This is the reality presented in Fincher’s Fight Club (1999), one of “the rawest, most hot-blooded, provocatively audacious, dangerous movies to come of out Hollywood” (Morris, 1999). Through the diverging personalities of the films central characters, Fincher provides a satirical analysis and powerful criticism of consumerism, “echoing countless social critics who bemoan the

Man's Search for Meaning in Fight Club and Siddhartha

2402 words - 10 pages In 1922, Hermann Hesse set the youth of Germany free with the glorious peace of Siddhartha. Nearly a century later, Chuck Palahniuk opened the eyes of countless Americans with his nihilistic masterpiece, Fight Club. These two novels were written in different times, in different cultures, for different readers, and for different purposes. One is the poster child for love of self and nature; the other focuses on the destruction of both man and

Criticisms of Consumerism and Materialism in Fight Club (1999)

1198 words - 5 pages “You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your fucking khakis. You are the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.” This is the underlying message in Fincher’s Fight Club (1999), which satirically analyzes and critiques consumerism. The films characters vividly depict society’s immersion in materialism and presents viewers with

Doubles in Fight Club and Cofer's The Other

1417 words - 6 pages Doubles in Fight Club and Cofer's The Other        In the current age of technology and capitalism, many people get caught up in trying to define their individuality with mass produced goods.  In David Fincher's movie Fight Club, the narrator, who is commonly referred to as Jack, invents an alter ego to serve as a source of substance in the hallow world of corporate America. This alter ego, named Tyler Durden, is portrayed as a

Jean-Paul Sartre's Extentialism & Taoism and the Movie Fight Club

1900 words - 8 pages which man himself has created. And that man kneels before the great machine, craving for freedom, only to be complied with imprisonment in his own mind. Positively, many essentials of our lives are dictated by the organization of our materialist, capitalist society that hampers us from being more complete beings. Positively, a group of wise analysts could use “Fight Club” movie as a good instance to instruct about our societal evils. When we come to

Fight Club: The Id, the Ego, and the Super-Ego

2333 words - 9 pages Introduction Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club and David Fincher’s filmed adaptation are, at their heart, studies in the incessant search of one’s identity, intrinsic alienation within the inner fight to discover one’s self, to conform to popular consumerism, ultimately, the destruction of said consumerism. Not a single scene of Fincher’s adaptation is void of a cup of coffee, presumably, the ubiquitous Starbuck’s brand. (Widmyer) Few mass marketed

Consumerism in the movies American Beauty and Fight Club

771 words - 3 pages In society today, the ownership of materialistic possessions is attributed to ones happiness. People believe that success is defined as assets accumulated throughout life, rather than looking at achievements or accomplishments of people. In the movies Fight Club and American Beauty, the values of happiness are interpreted incorrectly. This interpretation is consumerism. Consumerism is the myth that consuming will gratify an individual. Consuming

Fight Club: Consumerism and Globalization A look into one of the main themes of the movie, Fight Club

527 words - 2 pages Fight Club: Consumerism and GlobalizationConsumerism and globalization have a huge influence on us and the characters in the film, "Fight Club." What the main character, "Jack," said, "You are not the car you drive" is very true. In the world we live in, we are all the same. We all wear brand name clothes and drive brand name cars. Our khakis and furniture do not define our style. Why? Because we have no style, they are the styles of Gap and

Similarities between "Fight Club" and "Seven" to produce a cinematic signature of David Fincher

1971 words - 8 pages The works of David Fincher came into the spotlight a few years into his career. Two of his productions aided with his plunge into astonishing stardom and due recognition. These two films are the ones that will be my main focus during this analytic research. Seven and Fight Club truly thrust Fincher into the public eye. While the genres of these movies are dissimilar, they vary only slightly in the final outlook. Both films play up the

Similar Essays

Fight Club And I Essay

1937 words - 8 pages Fight Club and I "What you see at fight club is a generation of men raised by women . . .. I'm a thirty-year-old boy, and I'm wondering if another woman is really the answer I need." These words are from Chuck Palahniuk's novel Fight Club. Tyler Durden is the alter ego, and only known name of the fictional narrator of the novel. Tyler suffers from Dissociative Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder, Primary Insomnia

Fight Club, Hypermasculinity And Misogyny Essay

1490 words - 6 pages You are not your bank account. You are not the clothes you wear. You are not the contents of your wallet. You are not your bowel cancer. You are not your Grande latte. You are not the car you drive. You are not your fucking khakis--Tyler Durden, Fight Club In 1996, Chuck Palahniuk published his first novel, Fight Club. On the surface it can is seen as a backlash to the feminization of men, and a celebration of violence for violence sake. But

Comparing The Movies, Fight Club And Gladiator

787 words - 3 pages Comparing the Movies, Fight Club and Gladiator People today enjoy the same things that people enjoyed during the Roman Empire. In the movie, Gladiator, Maximus fights in the Coliseum in front of all the people of Rome. In the movie Fight Club they have fights between different people in front of all the people of the club. This shows that people who lived 1000s of years before us where entertained by violence just like most of us

Connections Between “Ligeia” And Fight Club

361 words - 2 pages the connections between Edgar Allan Poe's short story "Ligeia" and the Hollywood film Fight club were not easily noticed, they do exhist. Many of the similarities are found in the main male characters in both works. Connections can also be made between the women the men surrounded themselves with. The narrators in both works were also the main male characters and both men possessed a duality that made them very similar. Although the