It is easy to understand how and why many who view Fight Club
(Fincher, 1999) would argue that is in essence a critique of post
modern consumer culture within America or indeed the western world.
After all we are faced with Character(s) Jack (Edward Norton) who
seems to gain no cultural sustenance from the world in which he
inhabits. More over it seems to do him harm in the form of insomnia.
This coupled with his obsession with Ikea and material goods leads to
the creation of Tyler (Brad Pit). Whose apparent goal is the
destruction of the capitalist system? The film seems littered with
examples of anti consumer, anti capitalist motifs. The blowing up of
credit card companies, the vandalising of coffee shops etc etc. But,
is there more to the narrative of fight club? Its extreme use of
violence on one hand might seem to represent the desperate act of
those trapped deep within the void of consumer culture driven to
violence in a desperate bid to escape; to re claim some sense of
individualism. This view does however ignore many key issues regarding
Fight Club and gender. Especially those of masculinity and femininity,
and the positions they occupy within the film.
Primarily using the work of Laura Mulvey and Henry A. Giroux I
believe that it is clear to see that the themes and issues which are
central to Fight Club are based primarily on gender. Additional to
this, the fragility of man and narratives surrounding masculine
supremacy are present throughout, and undermine any notions of
“Ostensibly, Fight Club Appears to be a critique of late capitalist
... middle of paper ...
...hic economy encourages male
violence against women. In short, male violence in this film appears
directly linked to fostering those ideological conditions that justify
abuse towards women by linking masculinity exclusively to expressions
of violence and defining male identity against everything that is
Cohen, S & Hark, I R. (ed’s). 1993 Screening The Male: Exploring
Masculinities In Hollywood Cinema. Routledge: London.
Giroux, H A. 2000. Private Satisfactions and Public Disorders: Fight
Club, Patriarchy and the Patriarchy and the Politics of Masculine
Violence. Dr. Henry A. Giroux Online Articles. henrygiroux.com.
Mulvey, M. 1989. Visual And Other Pleasures. Macmillan: Basingstoke.
Nelmes, J (ed) 2003. An Introduction To Film Studies (Third Edition)
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