Donato Di Bari2B-2Fight Club (David Fincher 1999) Fight Club depicts a nameless narrator who initially attends support groups for various diseases in an attempt to overcome his insomnia. He then meets a woman named Marla, another faker or “tourist” as the narrator refers to her as, and they decide to split up which support groups they go to so that they never have to see each other again. On his way back from a business trip, he meets a soap-maker by the name of Tyler; after he finds out that his condo was destroyed he calls Tyler and spends the night with him. After a long night of drinking, the two proceed to recreationally fight in the parking lot of the bar. This becomes a routine, then more men join them and Fight Club is born. One day Tyler takes the narrator to a dumpster behind a liposuction clinic to collect fat in order to make soap. Once they’re back at the house, Tyler explains how one could use this fat to make explosives, then proceeds to burn the narrator’s hand with Lye to “help him” reach rock-bottom. After a few Fight Club sessions with multiple members, Tyler assigns them the task of getting into a fight with a stranger and losing. As Fight Club turns into “Project Mayhem” the assignments start to get worse and worse, such as blowing up computer stores and destroying works of art. One night Tyler purposely crashes a car with himself, our narrator, and a couple members of Project Mayhem and disappears. When the narrator tries to find Tyler, he finds out that he is Tyler Durden and that he is planning to blow up credit card company buildings in order to create total chaos and equalize everyone financially. The narrator successfully defuses one bomb but then gets into a fight with Tyler (or himself) and ends up tied in a chair with Tyler pointing a gun at him. The narrator is able to give himself the gun (because Tyler is simply a hallucination) and shoots himself in order to kill Tyler Durden. In the Novel, the narrator dies after shooting himself, but in the film the narrator survives and successfully kills the Tyler side of him. Over the years critics have analysed Fight Club and decided that it’s purpose was to mock and satirize the materialistic society of the ’90s and the crisis of masculinity. The two protagonists of the film, Tyler and the unnamed narrator, represent two polar opposite lifestyles and beliefs of the ’90s: the narrator consumes and purchases without satisfaction, whereas Tyler doesn’t care about anything other than passion and production without possession. The theme of materialism is present throughout the entire movie starting from the very beginning when he fills his condo with multiple furniture items from IKEA. In one of the first scenes of the movie the narrator states that “Like everyone else, he had become a slave to the IKEA nesting instinct. He flipped through catalogs and wondered: what kind of dining set defines him as a person?” The narrator’s materialism is so complete that he is buying stuff that no man should care about, such as duvets, sofas, and dinettes, instead of useful or necessary items such as daily used electronics or clothing. If he saw something different or unusual on a catalog he would have to buy it, hence why he called himself a slave to the IKEA nesting instinct; This is also the only reason why he keeps his boring job. Like any addiction, materialism demands more and more, while accomplishing less and less. Tyler summarises this by saying that “The things you own, they end up owning you.” Tyler’s solution to materialism and meaninglessness is to “Reject the basic assumptions of civilization, especially the importance of material possessions.” The narrator does this by focusing on Fight Club instead of his conspicuous consumption. Fight CLub simplified everything, it doesn’t matter who you are or what you own, everyone is equal in the circle of the fight; members worry more about their opponent then their own clothes (which are all bloody). It also served as a support group for a “generation of men raised by women” where Tyler states that he doesn’t know if “another woman is really what they need.” Fight club is producing an atmosphere where there are no women and these men could release their frustrations without being scorned by a less masculine society of the ’90s. It was also a way to define oneself through struggle and opposition, but the quest for individual identity eventually leads to the loss of identity when it becomes “Project Mayhem” and everyone wears a mask and the same clothing in order to commit crimes; in other words, Tyler initially wanted to let people be free, but he eventually forms his own army of identical mindless followers. Originally ,however, the narrator and other members wanted a chance to be “free” and equal to everyone else; this is emphasized by Tyler’s inspiring speech in one of Fight Club’s meetings: “You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet.” Tyler is trying to let people define themselves instead of being defined by their material possession or the “contents of their wallet”, but his visions become too extreme when this becomes “Project Mayhem.” Just before Tyler converted Fight Club to “Project Mayhem” he addressed the members once more saying that he sees the “strongest and smartest men who’ve ever lived. An entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables, slaves with white collars.” Tyler is once again criticizing the society of the ’90s where people work horrible jobs to maybe one day make enough money to support their material addiction. Tyler expands on this by saying that “Advertising has them chasing cars and clothes, working jobs they hate so they can buy shit they don’t need.” He is criticising the fact that everyone is raised to believe that they need to be rich and buy a nice house or car in order to be happy. Tyler confirms this by saying that “They’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day they’ll all be millionaires and movie gods – but they won’t.”The Narrator is finally able to give up his materialistic ways and find satisfaction in the energy of the fight. His “new” apartment, which is just an abandoned building that doesn’t even have electricity or running water, is another sign of him giving up his materialistic ways as there is nothing of value in the apartment. Later on the police officer investigating the condo fire calls the narrator and tries to discuss it with him. In this scene, the protagonist is clearly conflicted: his Tyler alter ego yells certain phrases such as “The liberator who destroyed my property has realigned my perceptions!” but then the narrator tells the officer that “He loved every stick of furniture in that place. That was not just a bunch of stuff that got destroyed it was him.” The narrator is clearly trying to reject the importance of material possessions, but he still has some longing attachment to them. This is perhaps one of the biggest moral dilemmas the narrator faces in the entire movie: he is finally understanding that he is freeing himself by disconnecting himself from his material possessions, but all the same, he can’t seem to detach himself from them. After this Tyler starts giving more serious assignments for “Project Mayhem” in order to punish those who enjoy material comfort, such as destroying “unnecessary” works of art or shattering specifically luxury car headlights, as luxury cars are deemed unnecessary and feed the materialistic society. After the narrator discovered that he was Tyler and his plan, he attempted to prevent the destruction of these credit card companies by confessing to the police. When asked why he would want to do such a thing, he replies that “If you erase the debt record then we all go back to zero. It’ll create total chaos.” Tyler’s ultimate goal was to destroy the american economic system in order to reduce everything to a time before money and credit so that he could completely destroy the materialistic mindset of the ’90s. After the narrator successfully ends his connection with Tyler by shooting himself in the neck, he doesn’t call off the destruction of the buildings, meaning that he embraced Tyler’s plans and philosophy. In conclusion, Fight Club is a film in which the narrator recognizes his materialistic ways and attempts to change himself by creating an alter ego by the name of Tyler. He then creates Fight Club in order to “free” men of their social position and “let them be men” in contrast to their usual lives in a materialistic and feminine society, where they are judged by what they own and the “contents of their wallet.” Works CitedBishop, Kyle. “Artistic Schizophrenia: How ‘Fight Club”s Message Is Subverted by Its Own Nature.” Studies in Popular Culture, vol. 29, no. 1, 2006, pp. 41–56. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/23418071.Craine, James, and Stuart C. Aitken. “Street Fighting: Placing the Crisis of Masculinity in David ‘Fincher’s Fight Club.'” GeoJournal, vol. 59, no. 4, 2004, pp. 289–296. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/41147853.Fincher, David, Arnon Milchan, Jim Uhls, Art Linson, Cea?n Chaffin, Ross G. Bell, Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Carter H. Bonham, Loaf Meat, Jared Leto, Zach Grenier, Holt McCallany, Eion Bailey, Michael Kaplan, James Haygood, Alex McDowell, Jeff Cronenweth, and Chuck Palahniuk. Fight Club. 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