Fight Club: A Narrative Analysis Essay

Fight Club: A Narrative Analysis Essay

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Barsam and Monahan define a narrative as, “A cinematic structure in which content is selected and arranged in a cause-and-effect sequence of events occurring over time” (553). David Fincher’s Fight Club uses a very unique narrative mode in that the whole film is self-narrated by the unnamed main character and has one of the best surprise endings in this writer’s opinion. This makes the film a prime specimen to be broken apart for further narrative analysis.
The film starts out with the nameless narrator played by Edward Norton in a nameless city. The narrator, stuck in a dead-end white collar job, suffers from insomnia and is told he can’t receive medication. This paints Norton’s character as someone who is stuck, without any visible options to alleviate his pains. He then proceeds to visit support groups to see people worse off than himself. Eventually he finds relief from his insomnia in the emotional release he gets from these different support groups he pretends to be a part of. Then he meets the femme fatale of the film, Marla Singer. She too is feeding off the emotional release from the support groups which leads to the first conflict of the film. On a flight back from a business trip the narrator befriends Tyler Durden, a physically fit soap salesman played by Brad Pitt. This is the point where you realize that for the first thirty minutes of the film random flashes of a tall blonde man appear on the screen for less than a second. Foreshadowing his importance, if someone is quick enough to catch a good enough glance of these flashes they will recognize that it is Tyler Durden, and so the plot thickens.
Tyler Durden is what some people would consider a muscle head, but he has much too many ideas for those stereotypes t...


... middle of paper ...


...sumed he has gone through the required change most protagonists go through in narratives.
With characters, plots and tones that throw the viewer through more loops than a roller coaster, Fight Club explores several of the narrative elements with many twists, turns, and plot devices that leave the mind pondering for days after viewing the film. Wrought with symbolism and the powerful themes of anti-consumerism and breaking down the walls we put around ourselves, there are several lessons to be taken from watching this film.


Works Cited

Barsam, Richard., and Dave Monahan. Looking at Movies: An Introduction to Film. New York: W. W. Norton, 2010. Print.
Fight Club. Dir. David Fincher. Perf. Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. 1999. 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, 2000. DVD.
"Fight Club." IMDb. IMDb.com. Web. 05 May 2012. .

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