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Psychoanalysis of Fight Club

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Beth Watson

on 15 June 2013

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Transcript of Psychoanalysis of Fight Club

Freud and Fight Club
Ego and

Tyler represents the id; primal urges, unrepressed and narcissistic.
Freud argues that in underdeveloped egos, like 'Jacks', the Id (Tyler) can escape its social and parentally enforced repression and could even come to dominate the Ego.
Tyler represents the psychic steam escaping from Jack's mental agony. He is created to do all of the things Jack does not think he can do, or is too weak to do.
If Tyler wants something, he gets it. "I'm free in all the ways that you are not."
The ego is the civilized part of the consciousness, fighting to find a happy medium between the id and super-ego.
Jack (the narrator) represents the ego. He acts as the balance between the Id and the Superego, aka "common sense".

The ego has certain defense mechanisms it uses in order to 'cope' with reality. In Fight Club, it can be seen that Jack is using these defense mechanisms in attempt to stray away from his materialistic lifestyle.
Defense mechanisms:

Denial: when a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence.
Fantasy: a situation imagined by an individual that expresses certain desires or aims on the part of its creator. Tyler is Jack's fantasy. He is the projection of everything Jack wants to be, but Jack being the ego, has to settle between Tyler as the Id and (as the films progresses) the Superego.
Repression: the attempt by an individual to repel one's own desires and impulses towards pleasurable instincts. It plays a major role in many metal illnesses. Jack has this keen interest in Marla but at the same time doesnt want it. "Marla... the little scratch on the roof of your mouth that would heal if only you could stop tonguing it, but you can't." Tyler represents the repressed desire Jack has towards Marla.

Throughout Fight Club Tyler's personality progresses from the Id the Superego. From fight club to project mayhem, he has a philosophy.
Tyler as Id is most clearly witnessed in the fight club itself. When there him and other fighters personify the animal, the beast in man.
If Tyler was purely Id then he wouldn't articulate a belief system to explain his wild and childish pranks.
Also, Jack grows up via the fantasy of Tyler.
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