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Doubles in Fight Club and Cofer's The Other

analytical Essay
1292 words
1292 words
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Doubles in Fight Club and Cofer's The Other

In the current age of technology and capitalism, many people get caught up in trying to define their individuality with mass produced goods. In David Fincher's movie Fight Club, the narrator, who is commonly referred to as Jack, invents an alter ego to serve as a source of substance in the hallow world of corporate America. This alter ego, named Tyler Durden, is portrayed as a completely psychologically and physically separate being throughout the movie. The inherent polarity in personality between these two personas proves to be a crucial point of interaction between the two characters, and is the basis for most of the action in the movie. Thus, Fight Club depicts the necessity for a balance between the passive and aggressive aspects of the human psyche, which parallels the main theme and insights that are illustrated in Judith Cofer's "The Other."

Jack is "a twentysomething wage slave" of the late 20th century who bases his identity in his material possessions (Smith 58). The scene in his apartment where he discusses the type of things that he owns illustrates this point, and shows that he thinks he can find happiness and identity in these items. As he walks through the apartment it is portrayed as an Ikea catalog with his possessions having product descriptions and prices underneath them. This illustrates the fact that Jack is trying to find happiness through materialism, which proves to be a very hollow lifestyle to partake in and serves as the main catalyst for the creation of Tyler.

Although not as apparently driven by materialism to the extent that Jack is, but equally as conventional, the narrator of "The Other" is ver...

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...er into a life less constrained by professionalism and decorum. However, in both instances, a balance is needed between the two personas. In Fight Club, the struggle is resolved when Jack beats Tyler at his own game by learning to not fear death and to live life to the fullest; however, there is no such ending in "The Other" and the struggle is left for us to resolve.

Works Cited

Cofer, Judith Ortiz. "The Other." Dreams and Inward Journeys. 3rd Ed. Eds. Marjorie Ford & John Ford. New York: Longman, 1988. 363-364.

Crowdus, Gary. "Getting Exercised Over Fight Club." Cineaste 25.4 (2000): 46-.

Fight Club. Dir. David Fincher. Perf. Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, and Helena Bonham Carter. Digital Video Disc. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, 2000.

Smith, Gavin. "Inside Out." Film Comment 35.5 (1999): 58-68.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how the narrator, jack, invents an alter ego to serve as a source of substance in the hallow world of corporate america. the inherent polarity in personality between these two personas proves to be the basis for most of the movie's action.
  • Analyzes how jack is "a twentysomething wage slave" of the late 20th century who bases his identity in his material possessions. his apartment is portrayed as an ikea catalog with product descriptions and prices underneath.
  • Analyzes how the narrator of "the other" is the female representation of jack; she is preoccupied with fulfilling corporate expectations.
  • Analyzes how jack's alter ego is a direct character foil that defies the common precepts of materialism.
  • Analyzes how tyler's physical appearance illustrates the disparity between the two personas. jack appears weak, and conservative, but his outlandish presentation is everything that jack isn't.
  • Analyzes how the "sloe-eyed women" in "the other" represent what the narrator cannot be in corporate life.
  • Analyzes how jack dismisses the conventions of corporate and consumer lifestyles when he experiences the adrenalin rush that results from a brawl that tyler initiates with jack, allowing jack to feel alive.
  • Analyzes how the physical struggles between tyler and jack symbolize the battle between the two personas in jack's mind. the narrator is conservative and reserved while the sloe-eyed woman sings love songs in the shower.
  • Analyzes how tyler's influence on jack becomes increasingly dangerous as he exerts greater control over his actions. the danger is illustrated in the scene where a member of their cult-like organization is killed.
  • Analyzes how cofer's references to the alter ego as a "dark woman" and comparison of her mouth and assertion of power to dozens of spiders that are used to carry poison, make the sloe-eyed woman dangerous.
  • Analyzes how the narrator's alter ego attempts to lead her into a life less constrained by professionalism and decorum. in fight club, the struggle is resolved when jack beats tyler at his own game by learning to not fear death.
  • Cites judith ortiz's dreams and inward journeys, and gary crowdus' "getting exercised over fight club."
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