The unnamed narrator has not slept in six months. As a travelling employee, he experiences sessions of jet lag. He’s a self-proclaimed slave of consumerism, purchasing decor for his apartment every chance he had. Suggested by his doctor to visit a support group for testicular cancer, the narrator meets Robert ‘Bob’Paulson. The narrator bursts into tears when he is embraced by Bob. He becomes addicted to attending support groups, as the emotional release he gets allows him to sleep. The conflict arises when a woman named Marla Singer appears. Having seen her at multiple support groups, he labels her as a ‘tourist’. He was now back to square one - the narrator, once again, cannot sleep. He ...view middle of the document...
The narrator finds out that he and Tyler is one person, realizing that in moments where he thinks he’s asleep, Tyler’s persona is actually taking over. The narrator discovers that Tyler is planning to destroy buildings within the financial district, erasing credit card company records.
The narrator runs to one of the buildings set for demolition, and finds a van filled with nitrogylcerin. As he was trying to disarm the bomb, Tyler appears. They engage in a ‘mental’ fight, as the narrator was physically fighting himself. The narrator loses, and when he wakes up, he finds a gun pointed in his mouth. He realizes, however, that Tyler does, he can do. He realizes that gun is actually in his hand, then he puts it up to his own chin and pulls the trigger. Tyler is ‘killed’.
Members of Project Mayhem arrive with Marla. Seeing the gaping wound in the back of his head, they then leave to fetch medical supplies. 'Tyler' stands with Marla and tells her that everything's going to be fine as the first detonation ignites the building in front of them.
Using psychoanalytic criticism, this paper seeks to decode the symbolism and discover the covert meanings found in the movie. Freud’s theory focuses on concepts, such as the Oedipus complex, and introduces the distinction between the conscious and the unconscious, as well as categorizes the mind into three distinct areas: the childlike id, the mature superego, and the ego which strives to keep the other balanced. This paper aims to determine the unconscious motives of the characters and prove them to be central to the plot.
The Narrator forms Tyler Durden, his alternate personality. Tyler carries out all of his unconscious desires. The narrator desired for a sense of identity; by creating Tyler, he has a way to create a new identity. The film, however, becomes a struggle for power over the narrator’s physical body.
The narrator remains unnamed throughout the entire film. What this implies is a lost sense of identity and discontinuity of mind. He is dissatisfied with his life. Thus, by creating Tyler, he is able to break violently from his subservient and conformist existence.
With the explosion of his condominium with each and every material item he possessed, brought with it a new chapter in the narrator’s life – moving into Tyler’s dilapidated house. The existence of his house signifies that the personality of Tyler has existed even before they “met”. It is revealed that Tyler is the one who instigated the apartment explosion, implying that it was the Narrator who blew up his own residence – he is able to release himself from his material obsession and begin a new life of freedom.
The Narrator, the conscious mind, is generally unhappy with is life; he is a slave to the rules of society and allows the world to own him. He is lost in a world of materialism. Fearless, street-mart, and in control, Tyler is everything that the narrator is not and wishes that he could be. Through Tyler, the narrator has broken...