Analysis of Fight Club
Within the contexts of both the real and virtual; and the society’s definition of masculinity, the movie Fight Club clearly defines an amazing perspective from which an enlightened analysis can be made; and a thoroughly comprehensive, fairly unbiased inference and can be reached. Fight Club makes a mockery of ostentatious lifestyles with a view to generating an absolutely balanced and realizable masculine personality. The “real” man.
Set in (the then) present day Manhattan, Fight Club carefully outlines the everyday struggles of the average everyday man whose priorities revolve around three basic concepts. Power, influence, and respect. The means through which he acquires these three ‘necessities’ vary, but the truth of the matter remains that every man lives by a set of rules, ideologies and principles which govern his entire lifestyle.The role of the media in the society’s myopic definition of the perfect man is also exposed in Fight Club, as the movie on a good number of occasions makes indisputable reference to media influence on the general public.
Fight Club goes a step further in its expose by roping in the government and the powers that be. More precisely, Fight Club lashes out at the Government and the upper class citizens of the society. Those who are acknowledged as ‘real men’ merely because they had been smart enough to ride the waves of accomplishment generated by their subordinates. These subordinates in the genuine sense of the word, are the real Men.
The real hard workers. In general, Fight Club turns out to be more of an experience that leaves one thinking and reasoning (almost always for the first time) than a mere occasion for soda and popcorn.Fight Club in more ways than one stresses the need for a little more real masculinity in the society. Our society defines a man by his level of achievements and success, meaning that the true definition of masculinity lay not in the strength of a man’s body but in his mind. This infers that if one were to be smart enough to succeed, and not strong enough to handle his emotions and strengths; he would still be referred to as a man. The narrator in the early scenes of the movie tells us everything about himself but his name.
He conceals the one true label of his identity and personality. The Narrator is void of confidence in himself and the ‘man’ he has become. He then takes shade in stating his societal status and his other self-esteem boosters. His personal effects.
The Narrator also flaunts his feminine side also comes to play when he’s done drinking with Tyler and he needs a place to stay. He begins fiddling with his wrist watch and initiates an irritatingly weak sequence of unnecessary nagging talk, which Tyler dismisses as foreplay and offers a place for his head if only he would ask. In the words of Tyler, “. . .we are a generation of men raised by women.
. .” That statement quite explains and defends almost everything said so far. The fact that both the narrator and Tyler’s dads left their moms when they were still 6 years old and started a family elsewhere which he would leave after sometime is an indicator that very few men these days actually ‘man up’ to the responsibility of actually raising proper sons, and as a result of this the society is filled with men who have been raised by single moms, thus the above phrase!The Movie also manifests an interesting paradox.
The perfect contradiction of everything the society stands for. The movie introduces us to Marla Singer. Now Marla is naturally a woman, but in the actual sense of the word, Marla is more of a man than the narrator is. Why? Marla had succeeded in doing everything the narrator couldn’t. Despite her unhealthy smoking habits and her carefree lifestyle, Marla was more alive than ever.
Marla had evolved her personality to a level where the only things that mattered were the only things she needed. Food, water, shelter, and as often as possible orgasmic sex. Marla lived by a philosophy that said she could die at any time, the only problem was that she didn’t. This philosophy liberated her of every sort of unnecessary attachments to material possessions.
The narrator refers to Tyler as a projectionist meaning he was saddled with the responsibility of placing movie reels together. Tyler was so good at this job that even a humming bird couldn’t catch Tyler at work. This goes to explain the flashes of Tyler Durden we see at strategic points in the early scenes of the movie. Our first glimpse of Tyler at work is in the hospital where the nameless narrator attempts to get highly effective sleeping pills to battle his insomnia. Another flash of Tyler at work is at the testicular cancer men’s support group.
There are two possible meanings to this explanation. This could either mean that Tyler’s flashes appear every time the nameless narrator is in a situation that had been triggered as a response to one or more of Tyler’s actions. This could also be read in another way, to mean that Tyler’s takeover of the narrator’s body (which was an adverse effect of his insomnia) was so quick that it was seamlessly smooth. Explaining why we are clueless as to the true identity of the narrator until the end of the movie.Only at the end of the movie do we discover that the narrator and Tyler Durden are one and the same person. At all other points along the way we are deceived to believe that the narrator and Tyler are partners in the running of Fight club.
Within the same clip, the narrator said Tyler’s second job was as a Banquet waiter at a prestigious high class hotel. Tyler’s job at the hotel also supports the thesis of masculinity in more ways than one. Tyler’s job at the restaurant signifies the fact that most of the real men in our society take menial jobs that hardly ever pay as much money as is needed to keep them comfortable. It was possibly this lack of material possessions that triggered the masculinity in them.
The other significance comes into view when we consider the fact that Tyler always contaminated the food at the restaurant before serving the customers. This i observe to be the real man’s attempt at rewarding the society’s unjust and undeserving misuse of his services. The society hardly ever acknowledged the real men who did almost all the work.Fight Club also goes a very long way to prove that one of man’s very few ways of easing himself of the burdens and depressions of his everyday life is in the place of combat. Fighting not only gave them the opportunity to either fist their troubles and woes on some other person, or get their worries beaten to pulp. It was a more relieving stress reliever, and it liberated them from their self-esteem problems while it gave them something to look forward to.
Fighting let them discover the men inside of them. Fighting let them be men. Fight Club alsoacknowledges this fact and gets us to believe that the only way to attain affluence in a society that forcefully refused to acknowledge one’s existence was to fight for it. This I believe is the actual concept behind project mayhem. Project Mayhem was Tyler’s very own gift to society. He gave back to society in two ways.
He encouraged the sad, and the downcast, and the downtrodden lower class people of the society by getting back at the upper class people through his restaurant destroying job, alongside the Fight Club’s destruction of landmarks and structures that belonged to the powerful, the wealthy, and the government. Fight Clubs became a menace to the government. The government referred to the Fight Clubs that sprung up all over the city as a terrorist group, but Tyler and his companions thought of themselves as a group of Freedom fighters. In the words of a well renowned intellectual and media analyst,”..
.every freedom fighter is a terrorist, and every terrorist is a freedom fighter…” – Ben WheelerThis is in more ways than one a statement valid beyond reasonable doubt.
Everyone with the zeal or desire to liberate the masses from the control of the Government is referred to as a terrorist by the government, but to the people for whom such a person fights he is a hero. This is the case as we see it in Fight Club.It is only logical to say conclusively that the movie goes an awfully long way to unveil the truth behind the society’s myopic definition of masculinity, and man’s mutilated idea of his persona and existence. Fight Club is about as clear to the perfect truth as it gets, so i’ll say its a great movie by all standards.