The Meaning Of Fight Club Essay

Length: 3 pages Subject: Film Type: Essay Paper: #50383792 Related Topics: Social Problem, Film, Culture, Masculinity
Excerpt from Essay :

Sociology Film Review: Fight Club

Fight Club was produced in 1999 and has a running time of two hours and 19 minutes. The film is narrated by a nameless hero (played by Edward Norton) who suffers from insomnia. It opens with him tied to a chair, a gun held to his head by a man named Tyler (played by Brad Pitt). The narrator speaks directly to the audience and tells how he arrived at this moment through a flashback which essentially serves as the bulk of the film, the opening scene also serving as the ending scene and setting of the film. Throughout the film, the audience learns that the hero created an alternate ego for himself (Tyler) to help him address his malaise—his boredom with his work, his home, his life—in other words, his inability to find satisfaction in the materialistic existence he has created for himself. He introduces Tyler into his life to help him emerge from his cocoon of safety. Tyler’s method is to employ violence—to start a “fight club” in which mean can beat one another in an underground boxing ring. The idea is to allow men to tap into their suppressed masculinity and take back ownership of their lives and culture. This latter point is important because it is what compels Tyler to develop fight club into a movement: the membership spreads across the country, and the members engage in guerrilla-style tactics aiming at subverting the corporatized culture that continues to dominate. A woman named...


For much of the film, the narrator does not realize that he is actually Tyler, and once he realizes it he feels he has to stop fight club. He fears the club is going to kill innocent people by blowing up the buildings of the credit card companies in town. Tyler tells himi the buildings are evacuated—all that is being blown up is everyone’s data: everything will go back to zero. The narrator still feels he has to kill off Tyler and take back possession of his whole self. He does so, the buildings blow up, and the narrator is reunited with Marla. The film ends with them holding hands as the skyscrapers out the window fall.

The social problem that is addressed in the film is the problem of materialism and emasculation. At one point in the film, Tyler says, “We’re a generation of men raised by women. I don’t think another woman in our lives is what we need” (Fincher, 1999). The dialogue between Tyler and the narrator is full of this type of idea. The idea is that men need to take back their lives from the insipid consumerism that is zapping them of their masculine spirit. Tyler states at another point to the members of fight club: “Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white…

Sources Used in Documents:


Fincher, D. (1999). Fight Club. LA: Fox 2000.

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