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crisis in Fight club

Point of view shot in the office sequence at the beginning of the film.

Everyone in the office is in the same suits and doing the same thing (Photocopying) No one has an individual identity, A copy of a copy of a copy. All of the workers are drinking the same Starbucks coffee whilst all waiting for their photocopies to be done. The narrator is suffering from Insomnia, as he cant sleep because he is unsatisfied with his life. He is a white-collar worker, and does feel any fulfilment in his life. To try and combat this, he starts attending counselling groups, pretending to be someone else. He joins support groups for terminally ill people, as well as a testicular cancer support group. By joining these groups, he is allowed to express his emotions through crying, something he is unable to do when he is himself. If I didnt say anything, people assumed the worst. They cried harder. I cried harder By joining these groups, the narrator found acceptance and people who listened to him. Every evening, I died, and every evening, I was born. Resurrected

After attending these meetings he feels reborn, with a new identity, having died in the meetings.

Further to his identity crisis, we have the character Tyler Durden who is entirely a creation of the narrators mind. The character of Tyler Durden is in the film from the beginning where he keeps flashing into shots before finally emerging as a character in the film. Initially the audience is unaware that Tyler Durden is not a real person, and it is only revealed in the final scenes of the film that he is a creation of the narrators mind.

An example of Tyler Durden appearing in a shot

Further to this, the identity crisis is continued through the Project mayhem set up by Tyler Durden/the

narrator, where none of the men involved are known by their name, having no identity. The character of Marla also links into the theme of Identity crisis. She, like the narrator attends numerous support groups, including the testicular cancer group. She herself doesnt know who she is, having an identity crisis.


The issue of masculinity is a prevalent concern in Fight Club. The narrator attends a support group meeting for men with testicular cancer, aptly named "Remaining Men Together." It is here that he listens to a man whose ex-wife just had a baby with her new husband. The population of this support group illustrates a crisis signifies the crisis of masculinity in America. In the following scene, the soft lighting in foreground of the support group contrasts to the hard lighting focused on the America flag hanging ominously in the back of the room. As Sally Robinson posits, "an enduring image of the disenfranchised white man has become a symbol for the decline of the American way"

The men that who attend the Remaining Men Together" support group are a representation of a cultural loss of masculinity. One of the group's members, Bob, is a former gym athlete whose steroid use has caused him to lose his testicles and in their place develop "bitch-tits. The narrator feels emasculated because of his consumer driven and IKEA furnished life; the men in the support group represent the physical manifestation of emasculation.

The self-inflicted violence that differentiates Fight Club from other masculine" films is understood through the lens of the "new sado-masochist." Reflexive sado-masochism allows the individual to portray himself as victim while also feeling powerful because of his ability to endure pain. Pain, then, becomes desirable. "

The males in Fight Club turn to violence in an attempt to reawaken the senses that have been dulled by quotidian existence.

Fight club is a place where men can experience a true sense of "being." "You weren't alive anywhere like you were alive here," the narrator tells us because, "who you were in fight club is not who you were in the rest of the world." The basement arena of the fight club provides a space in which the men in the film can transcend the reality of their lifestyle, their jobs, and their bodies. The narrator demonstrates his understanding of rebirth through violence by describing how after a fight "we all felt saved."

Marla is a threat to the narrator as a storyteller because her role in the film helps reveal to the audience that Tyler and the narrator are the same person. Whenever Marla is at the house on Paper Street she and Tyler never appear in the same room with the narrator. In the following scene when Marla leaves the house exasperated by the way the narrator is treating her, Tyler immediately enters the kitchen and mutters, "Get rid of her" while exiting up the stairs. According to Tyler, the narrator must never tell Marla about his (Tyler's) existence. It is through Marla's interaction with the narrator, however, that the viewer begins to question the narrator's mental stability.
In contrast, the film ends with Marla and the narrator standing

together holding hands as the narrator tells her, "I'm really OK. Trust me. Everything's going to be fine." The falling buildings signify the failure of the masculine corporate world. More importantly there is no sense that the narrator's masculinity can be restored since he had to kill his virile masculine alter ego, Tyler Durden.

An Answer to the Destruction of Identity Fight Club is a film that explicitly questions the values of nineties America and its culture of consumerism that inevitably accompanied its extreme economic growth during the period. Indeed when we view the film we can see it as a direct reaction to the perceived lack of identity within a culture that has destroyed the need for personality and whereby instead we are defined by our, IKEA coffee table and in a wider sense our material possessions. Yet the way to break free from such conditions is within itself Fascist and furthermore requires a person to lose their own identity in the name of, Project Mayhem. Fincher thus presents the audience with a largely negative view of both Capitalism and Fascism with the narrator only obtaining true happiness by starting a relationship with Marla Singer. Indeed, beyond the superficial violence of the film, which provides temporary happiness, we are instead show that happiness derives from Love. I Want You To Hit Me As Hard As You Can

Within the opening sequences of the film, the narrator is initially shown as dissatisfied with his self and his surroundings, indeed the one bit of happiness he finds within support groups is eventually ruined by Marla Singer who like him, is a fake and merely attends to make themselves feel better by meeting people who, listen instead of waiting to talk. It is after his source of happiness is destroyed again that Tyler Durden emerges to liberate him from his routine. Despite initially being a friendship it soon evolves after Durden asks the narrator to, hit him as hard as he can and then begin to fight. The Narrator then loses his apartment (the very symbol of his previous life as a consumer) and a life with Tyler in a derelict house with few possessions yet at the same time is intrinsically happy with this new existence. Fight Club then escalates and the narrator and men like him begin to liberate themselves

through extreme (although friendly) violence. As such Fincher presents the audience with a world whereby by losing everything and experiencing a primitive sensation such as pain, we once again regain our identity and happiness by returning to a primitive state and experiencing sensations that return us to the harsh reality of life and not the numbness promoted within a consumerist society. You Are Not Special

Fight club however, soon turns into an organisation reminiscent of Fascism in that individual is soon given little meaning and instead unity takes priority at all costs. As such like the very culture that they have tried to escape, the men have once again returned to a brainwashed state in which they lose any sense of the self and instead they little more the machinations for Durden to pursue his ideals. Fincher presents this as largely negative as those involved have once again returned to world of fantasy whereby they no longer possess control over their own lives. Indeed, they have become the very antithesis of the original intent of Fight Club and this is symbolised by the change of name from Fight Club to Project Mayhem reflecting the loss of the very meaning behind the creation of Fight Club.

You Met Me At A Bad Time in my life

Instead happiness is shown as deriving truly from love. Indeed, it is only at the end of the film with Marla that the narrator finds true meaning in his life. As such the film can instead be seen as a rejection of the violence needed to break free from the world as well as the consumerist culture and that instead the way to break free is by forming a meaningful and loving relationship. Indeed, interaction with your follow humans whereby you form a true bond seems to be presented as the most satisfying of all sensations and the only one that can ensure happiness.