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Fight Club: Perceptions Of God As An Absentee Parent. How Is Man's Relationship To His Father Reflective Of His Relationship To God?

1891 words - 8 pages

Perceptions of God as an Absentee ParentTry asking the question, "Have you seen the movie Fight Club?" of any conservative person who has not seen the movie. Almost all of them will reply, "No. I don't like movies about violence." And it's hard to convince them that a movie with such a title and that actually did spawn numerous underground boxing clubs among adolescent American teens really isn't about violence. "Well, what's it about then?" A quick answer of anarchy or nihilism usually won't placate these conservatives either, and is far from true anyway. Both the movie and the book go a lot deeper than that. There are many important and timely messages interwoven and clumped into the story by author Chuck Palahniuk. We will focus on two parallel themes, which run through both works. The first is a man's relationship, or non-relationship, to his father. And the second is drawn from that: our relationship with God is like our relationship to our fathers.Chuck Palahniuk never would have dreamed his debut novel would become a landmark feature film. His first attempt to get published was with Invisible Monsters. Publishers liked it, but thought it would be too dark, too seditious for the readers. How did Palahniuk respond to this concern? He got frustrated. And he wrote something even blacker and darker and more stirring. In an interview with Chris Switzer of turtleneck.net, Palahniuk explained what he was thinking: "'What if I make it even more offensive, and more dark, and more risky? They'll never publish it.' I had really given up hope. I was never going to get published so I might as well write what I want to write. That's when I wrote Fight Club" .His honesty and creativity paid off. The issues in the novel, coupled with a delicious writing style, were too good to pass up. Fight Club was published, and somebody at Twentieth Century Fox got their hands on it. It was a hard sell--not exactly a crowd-pleaser, executives thought. It was uncomfortable and hazardous and incendiary... and compelling.Palahniuk's novel comments on the fact that the father is an endangered species, and we, especially males in today's society, are suffering the consequences of this. Both of the main characters, or the main character's alter-egos, Jack and Tyler, felt bitterness towards their fathers. "Tyler never knew his father [. . .]. Me, I knew my dad for about six years, but I don't remember anything. My dad, he starts a new family in a new town about every six years. This isn't so much like a family as it's like he sets up a franchise" (Palahniuk 49, 50). When Jack asked Tyler what it is he's been fighting, what his issue is, his answer is his father. In the movie, Jack asks Tyler if he could fight anybody in the world, who would it be. "My father." Both in book and film are versions of a conversation between Jack and Tyler. In the film, Tyler describes how once a year he would call his father and ask for advice. The answers came back insipid and without thought:...

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