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HOW USEFUL HAS A PARTICULAR CRITICAL APPROACH BEEN IN GAINING A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING AND APPRECIATION OF YOUR CHOSEN FILM?

Fight Club (1999) implements numerous elements of a Freudian philosophy by exploring the nature of the human subconscious and the behaviour that one wishes to partake in. It subtly identifies the Id, the Ego, and the Super-Ego, all of which can be personified by a mixture of characters and locations throughout the film. For example, Brad Pitt's character of Tyler Durden could be described as the 'Id', or the personality which encourages one to perform reckless and mischievous actions. As the film progresses, we see this personality strengthen and begin to gain control over Edward Norton's 'Ego'; where in the first half of the film Tyler is simply seen urinating in restaurant dishes and raiding discarded body fat from a liposuction clinic, the second half sees the id lead "Project Mayhem", the evolution of the fight clubs, whose ideology could almost be compared with that of Nazism. This transition of dominance from the Narrator (Edward Norton) to Tyler mirrors the takeover of control from the Ego to the Id; in other words, as the film progresses, the Narrator's personality almost dissolves completely, and instead becomes something else entirely. At one point in the film, the Narrator says the line "In Tyler we trust." This suggests that the Narrator becomes almost entirely dependant on his Id personality, possibly because he believes that in behaving this way, he is able to find a purpose in life. Towards the end of the film, Tyler disappears completely, suggesting that the Id has completely replaced the Ego as the dominant personality. Throughout the film, the Super-Ego manifests itself as the organisations that the Narrator associates himself with. These organisations deliver more anarchist views as the film progresses (beginning with the support groups, then the fight clubs after the Narrator meets Tyler, and concluding with Project Mayhem). The Super-Ego acts as a ground for the Narrator to find his morals and his place within society. As the film progresses and the Id begins to take control, the Narrator creates a brand new society to escape from the one in which he has no place, meaning that the SuperEgo has to manifest itself into those organisations which offer rules that conform to the Narrator's new view on the world where the Id is in control. There are numerous scenes throughout Fight Club where the Ego, Id and the Super-Ego can be clearly identified, and analysing these scenes correctly can help one to understand the film on a deeper level, and therefore appreciate it a lot more. The scene in which Tyler first sleeps with Marla is a good example of identifying each personality's morals and goals. When the Narrator picks up the phone to speak to Marla, he immediately rejects her pleas and leaves; however Tyler, the Id, is driven solely by pleasure, and begins an affair with her. This is early in the film, and shows the Id as a pleasurefulfilling personality, with little control over the Ego. This is further supported by the Ego's dislike of Marla at this point. In one scene, the Narrator directly addresses the fact that the Narrator, Tyler and Marla were never seen together: "Except for their humping, Tyler and Marla were never in the same room." This is because they cannot possibly be in the same room; when Tyler and Marla are having sex, it is, in reality, the Narrator and Marla having sex (with the Narrator being controlled by his Id personality driven by pleasure). When Marla comes downstairs and sees the Narrator sitting at the table, he forgets about their encounter the night before, which offends Marla because she is unaware about the Narrator's split personalities and therefore doesn't understand why he doesn't remember her. In another scene, just before Marla leaves, the Ego says "I think you should go, not that we don't enjoy your little visits", exposing his split personality. Marla, however, labels him a "nutcase", subtly revealing to the audience that Tyler and the Narrator are in fact the same person (however it is unlikely the audience would work this out after watching it for the first time). Late into the film, Tyler instructs the members of fight club to start a fight with a random stranger (and lose). This shows the Id progressing into a more anarchistic state, birthing Project Mayhem. This scene also shows the Narrator's further separation from the Ego by completely disregarding the rules of his workplace in favour of the rules of fight club. He frames his boss by beating himself senselessly, expressing his determination to fulfil his 'real' job. In this scene, the Narrator says the line