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Fight Club

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Evan Byrnes

on 20 April 2012

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Transcript of Fight Club

No Shirt, No Shoes, No Futons:
The Feminine Man in "Fight Club" Summary This guy can't sleep. He goes to group therapy to cry, so he can sleep. That's big Bob, we'll get to him later. This girl is a phony, but so is he. He hates his unfulfilling job. He meets this guy, Tyler Durden. Tyler makes soap,
here's his card. His apartment blows up. He loved his appartment, and the Ikea catalogue. Minor existential crisis. Now he lives with Tyler, here. They fight. Symbols Masculinity They cause mischief. They get other people to help them.
Project Mayhem. Things get out of hand. He's losing it. Everything's going downhill. Robert Paulson is big Bob. Plot twist! They're the same guy! So he's got a gun in his own mouth? Yep. Schizophrenic. He had to beat himself up to get there. Now he's got the girl, and gets to watch the world burn. Big Bob - The feminine man.
The apartment - Materialism.
The Yin-Yang table - His two personalities. Soap - Cleansing, purity, disillusionment.
Tyler - Masculinity and virility.
Marla Singer - The unconventional woman. "everyone seemed willing to accept the “fact” that we are experiencing a widespread cultural crisis, that that crisis most poignantly affects men, and that the cause of that crisis is a consumer ethos that reduces identities to brand names and replaces meaningful work with status-oriented consumption. Men, the film insists, are feminized by consumer culture"
- Sally Robinson Cultural Implications. Masculinity, or the lack there of, is represented in several ways through the novel.
Consumerist culture.
Fight Club.
Robert "Big Bob" Paulson.
The narrator's power animal, the penguin. "Tyler Durden teaches the narrator, being a consumer—“the byproduct of a lifestyle obsession”—deprives him of any relation to authenticity and, thus, separates from him masculinity. Tyler makes this point perfectly clear in his response to the narrator’s plaintive cry about losing his apartment and its accoutrements: “You know it could be worse—a woman could cut off your penis while you are sleeping and throw it out of the window of a moving car.” Castration is simply a more literal form of the emasculations produced by a fantasized consumer culture aligned with vicious women intent on maiming men." -Sally Robinson. "The creation of 'The Fight Club' plays a huge role in freeing the narrator from his crisis of masculinity. The Fight Clubs are filled with mostly white middle class men who desire more than empty material success, or working class men who are frustrated with their status. The focus of fighting is to take the beating, and defining one's identity through the pain. Physical displays of violence serve as an attempt to find the inner 'man', this is done by resorting back to a raw tribal masculinity." -Robert Schultz The New Man vs. Traditional Manliness Lost touch with masculine core.
Lost in consumerism and the media.
Lack of symbolic traits: strength, honor, virility, chivalry, hairy chests and burly facial hair! Traditional male defined as:
Breadwinner, hunter, defender, warrior, and cowboy.
Feminist movements exposed these as myths.
Men left without clear identity or male gender role.
Repressed 'raw' masculinity.
Stigma of typical male traps men. Consumerism "'Young people think they want the whole world.' Deliver me from Swedish furniture. Deliver me from clever art...'If you don't know what you want,' the doorman said, 'you end up with a lot you don't.' May I never be complete. May I never be content. May I never be perfect. Deliver me, Tyler, from being perfect and complete. (Pahlaniuk, 46) "In the decline-of-men markets of the twenty-first century, in other words, everybody is buy-sexual" (Garcia 163) "Then you're trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you." (Palahniuk 44) Works Cited http://last-fight-club.blogspot.com/











Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

The Decline of Men by Guy Garcia

"It is no accident that the novel dwells on the testicular cancer support group, or that it uses Marla’s participation in it as the narrator’s breaking point. Both the narrator and Marla are faking all the illnesses whose support groups they attend; neither has blood or brain parasites, neither has tuberculosis, neither has any form of cancer. But, what makes Marla’s faking of testicular cancer particularly galling to the narrator and significant to the film’s logic is that it proves that gender itself can no longer be authenticated. Later, after the narrator has given up support groups for the “release” found in bare-knuckled fighting, he tells Marla that he has “found something else” to replace his support-group fix, and triumphantly announces that “It’s for men only.” Unlike “that testicular thing,” fight club is something that Marla can’t fake because fight club reinstates a real masculinity. Further, this real masculinity is rooted in the body and even “feminized” male bodies (like Bob’s) embody it; whereas Bob can be said to “perform” femininity through his bodily attitude and emotional display, Marla cannot perform masculinity because, according to the film’s logic, masculinity is that which cannot be performed or faked. It is the culture of inauthenticity, represented by a feminizing consumerism and its “self-help” ideologies, that snuffs out masculinity" -Sally Robinson
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