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“Fight Club”: The Pentecostal Church Essay

1135 words - 5 pages

"Fight Club": The Pentecostal Church I attended the lecture by Dr. Mary Alice Morgan entitled "'Fight Club' and the Feminization of America" on September 12, 2001. Dr. Morgan is a member of the Department of English at THE University specializing in gender and African-American studies. She is a very eloquent speaker and extremely knowledgeable of her subject. This lecture was not only informative, it was also truly entertaining because it involved the discussion of a popular movie, "Fight Club", and its real-world connection to generalized male rage and the feminization of the American male. Dr. Morgan explained how the underground "fight clubs" became like pentecostal churches that gave a sense of "salvation" through the togetherness of its participants.The men can express their anguish through nightly fights. This liberates them from their miserable, pointless lives. Jack, who is portrayed by Edward Norton, is the main character in this spine-tingling 1999 film. Jack represents the typical American male. Dr. Morgan stated that Jack as well as the majority of men feel repressed and even feminized because they are forced to put up with jobs they hate, their priorities are misplaced, and they are confused and alone. For instance, Jack is so unhappy that he goes for days on end without sleeping. He is a hopeless insomniac who spends his free time ordering the perfect designer furniture for his high-rise apartment. Jack's doctor suggests that he should see what real pain is like by attending a support group for testicular cancer patients. At this meeting he meets Bob, a divorced former body builder who was forced to have his testicles removed and who developed large, feminine breasts because of the overproduction of estrogen in his body. Bob's wife and children left him and he comes to the support group to share his suffering with others that can relate to the problem. Bob represents the actual, physical feminization of men through his appearance, but also intellectual feminization by attending the support group. Today's culture is teaching us that "It is ok to cry," and men should hide their masculinity. The men in the support group seem to be feminized as they hug one another and cry with each other to overcome their misery. Jack sleeps that night and becomes a "sentiment junkie" who goes to every support group meeting in the city. Soon he meets another support group addict named Marla. Jack is trapped in a boy's world and in a state of cultural alienation. He is attracted to Marla as she destabilizes his world and brings out the character of Tyler Durden that lives within him. In a sense, Tyler Durden exists in every man. He is the masculine stereotype and everything that Jack wants to be, explained Morgan. Tyler is sexually self-confident, aggressive, and physically attractive. When Jack and Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) eventually establish fight clubs, they are a form of "masculine...

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