Analysis of “Fight Club” Essay

Analysis of “Fight Club” Essay

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Analysis of “Fight Club”


For years David Fincher has directed some of the most stylish and creative thrillers in American movies. His works include: Aliens 3, Seven, The Game and Fight Club. Each of these films has been not only pleasing and fun to watch but each has commented on society, making the viewers think outside the normal and analyze their world. Fight Club is no exception, it is a multi-layered film with many subplots and themes, but primarily it is a surrealistic description of the status of the American male at the end of the 20th century. David Flincher’s movie, Fight Club, shows how consumerism has caused the emasculation of the modern male and tells a tale of liberation from a corporate controlled society.

In the movie Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) comments on the new way of life, “We are products of lifestyle obsession. Murder, crime, poverty do not concern me. What concerns me are celebrity magazines, television with five hundred cannels and a designer name on my underwear.” The film, Fight Club shows the consumer culture in which the 20th century male lives in and how it is a deconstruction of individuality. The film gives many examples of this; the main character of the film (Ed Norton) asks while looking through an IKEA catalog, “What kind of plates define me as a person.” He’s not asking what personal characteristics and attributes define him but what possession most accurately does. Also, Ed Norton’s character has no name he is only referred to as the 90’s everyman, the IKEA man. The film shows the extensive emphases the consumer-based culture of the 20th century has on individualism and values associated with being a man. Corporations have replaced personal qualities with corporate logos. The modern male cannot be anything unless he has certain products in his possession. No longer does one own things, his things own him. The contemporary male is a slave of the IKEA nesting instinct. The main characters absence of a name only exemplifies this; the buying of furniture from IKEA gives the main character (Ed Norton) his identity, without being a consumer the main character would remain undefined and anonymous. In the movie, the two main characters, (Ed Norton) and Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), are staring at a Calvin Klein ad and ask each other is this what a man is supposed to look like. Fight Club shows the extent of consumerism contro...


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...od. By blowing up his IKEA catalog apartment and living in a dilapidated house without concern for owning products and designer names, Ed Norton’s character releases himself his consumer controlled life and begins a journey to regain his manhood. He does this by creating Fight Club, which is an underground boxing club for men. Fight Club lets men live by liberating them. They are allowed to express their primal nature, to be men and reclaim their independent strength, courage and power. It was said, “When a man first enters Fight Club he was a wad of cookie-dough, a couple weeks later he was carved of wood.”

The 20th century male’s struggle still continues today, the 21st century is a corporate controlled society, in a consumer culture that gives life value by what is bought and owned, not by the individual. The modern male is emasculated in this feminist culture. David Fincher does an excellent job of taking a contemporary subject and putting it on film. Fight Club takes these themes, consumerism, emasculation of the male and liberation and weaves them together to make a great narrative on the unfilled, castrated male who desperately seeks to be free from societies control.

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