Fight Club: Rebellion Against the Status Quo Since 1996

Ashley Rose-Nova

The novel and popular film Fight Club is one of the most impactful pieces of media to be created. The story of the current generation of people filled with false hopes. Fight Club explores the anti-consumerism of current life. As people in today’s society, we are consumers powered by lifestyle obsession. The obsession with achieving things that may not be achievable to some. Another concern involving current day society is social media, follower count, retweets, likes, or celebrity endorsements. Gradually, as people have grown up in the current generation is the ability to not be competitive. Being provided with participation trophies, ribbons, or being told they can all be successful without putting the work into their own goals.  

The novel written by Chuck Palahniuk was released in 1996 and the film adaptation would be released in 1999. Both take the perspective of an unknown narrator. The narrator is a slave to wanting to feel complete based on consumerism and continues to suffer from insomnia. Debating the question of how to find meaning in a meaningless existence. The narrator sometimes entertains self-destructive thoughts and of course meets Tyler Durden. 

Tyler expresses his views on consumers. His views are unconventional on life as well such as crime, murder, and poverty. He is more concerned about the impact of current society such as enhancement products, name brand clothing, and all material possessions.

The concern is things that you own end up owning you. 

Keeping up with the Joneses is an overwhelming obsession that is very well seen in this generation. Regardless of how much an individual spends the more, they tend to stretch the financial limitation of their wallets. Allowing them to hit rock bottom. 

As the story progresses self-destruction leads to viewing the world differently and attempting to hit, what can be considered to most people as rock bottom.

Tyler’s central goal is to hit bottom. Losing all hope is freedom. 

“You have to consider the possibility that God does not like you. He never wanted you. In all probability, he HATES you.” – Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden 

This provides the idea that as an unwanted child of God, there is no redemption or damnation. You become liberated from any type of fatherly authority and live how you want to live. To achieve this, you must jump into the unknown. This can be seen in the scene of the car crash and having a near life experience. 

Fight Club still emphasizes the ideology of living how you want to live. To have the ability to jump out of your comfort zone. Most people have difficulties letting go. The easiest way is to let go of and understanding security with material possession. You begin to symbolize what you use to become a person that is no longer an individual. 

The novel and film allow us to challenge ourselves to become more self-sufficient with the attempt to question authority. Then to let the things that truly do not matter slide.

The interesting aspect of Fight Club is the non-conformity messaged passed throughout both media. That the message of lost men, looking for a leader figure ends up finding it in Tyler Durden. The narrator does find out he is Tyler.

However, finding an appealing alpha leadership in Tyler, who does not conform to anyone and has no superior. They all eventually become Space Monkeys and conform to his way of ideology and philosophy. Allowing them to become what they were against. Sheep.

“We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.” ― Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club  

The violence aspect of both media taps into the cathartic release of violence articulated in a visually beautiful door of understanding. Fight Club to this day has an impact on views of current-day situations, which can not be outdated.

If anything, current world view has become closer to the views of what Tyler Durden speaks against. 

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