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Film Analysis: Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club

704 words - 3 pages

A young man sat in his wheelchair next to the bus stop pole, and I stood behind him. We were waiting for the bus together in silence. I could tell he was a veteran, for he wore his tattered green uniform and cap, and the weathered, patched American flag shone like a beacon of pride on his arm. Yet past his initial persona of a warrior, in his face a saw uncertain eyes that where always darting and a face that looked vaguely both sturdy yet precarious. Even so we did not look at each other or converse, the indifference towards each other maintained the balance of the situation. Then walks in the seeming antagonist, a mere random man who strides like a duck straight to the veteran. He then proceeded to pat him on the back and in a look of lamentation said, “I’m so sorry.” Then the moment of epiphany occurs: the veteran looked back at him with a face of disgust and moved away. I always questioned both the random man’s and the veteran’s actions. Why did the random man come up the veteran and apologize? Why did the veteran look at him in disgust? But I then realized I must understand the fundamental question of empathy. The question is answered with a metamorphic cliché; you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. In analysis; you cannot experience empathy without a true pragmatic understanding of the victim’s experience. Without an understanding of emotional empiricism you are merely patronizing the victim. I learned that empathy cannot be a whimsical and unnecessary feeling. It must be a fundamental expression built by foundations of experience and exposure. Thus not only a single experience can suffice for empathy. Though I am far from earning a pure emotion of empathy, I have learned that empathic experiences are pure chance, you cannot control them and you cannot cause them. Yet the central concept must be that the experiences must allow for an understanding of the victim’s suffering. This alludes into my second experience in the search for empathy, an experience through cinema.

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