Identity is a definition of the self, an explanation of character. However, in the movie Fight Club, the components that comprise outward identity often prove to be transitory. Edward Norton’s “Jack” character asks, “If you wake up at a different time, in a different place, could you wake up as a different person?” The effects of modernity lead to the impermanence of self image, and the decay of identity.
Rather than having a true identity, “Jack” is called a “byproduct of a lifestyle obsession.” He bases personal worth upon what he owns. It is this materialistic consumerism that steals individuality. How can a concrete identity be established when its value assessment is based upon chain store furniture? The first step made towards recognition is when his possessions are blown up. The push for materialistic progress is a principal example of the concept of modernity in the film. The viewer is led to believe that the destruction is an accident. In the bar scene, Tyler Durden says, “The things you own end up owning you”. His statement is a generalization of the life “Jack” leads. Since “Jack” has no identity outside of his furniture and wardrobe; everything he knows about himself is dependent upon his possessions.
When Tyler later asks Jack to hit him as hard as he can, he justifies his request by asking, “How much could you know about yourself if you’ve never been in a fight?” Within this question, Tyler proposes another key idea of the film, that of Dealing with Conflict. The strength of a person’s identity or self is heavily dependent upon how well he or she deals with conflict. Since neither had been in a fight before, each stood to gain a great deal of knowledge of his identity. The term “fight” does not necessarily refer only to fisticuffs. The concept of the “fight” is more accurately represented by any kind of conflict. The club and Tyler are created to fulfill Jack’s inner need to substantiate his masculinity, to rebel against consumer culture, to further a class conflict, to feel real pain, and to cope with anonymity.
Tyler complains that they are part of a generation of men raised by women. They seem to be wrapped up in matters such as interior design and fashion rather than the primal hunter/gatherer basis of masculinity. The club accomplishes Jack’s need to break ...
... middle of paper ...
...ven though it is actually his and Marla’s relationship all along. At one point Tyler tells Jack that he cannot talk to Marla about him. Tyler does everything in his power to remain manifest. He does not want Jack realizing that he is indeed a part of his own identity. It seems that this product of a schizophrenic mind has a much more stable identity for itself than its creator does. The key to realizing that they are one and the same is what finally allows Jack to intervene and put an end to Tyler’s individual identity and assume it into his own.
Jack’s feelings of misrepresented identity reflect the debilitating effects of modernity surrounding his life. Monotony and repetition of soulless activity forced him to find himself through his possessions. In creating Tyler Durden, Jack makes it clear to everyone but himself that he is an individual capable of a great scale of things, even if they are destructive. By realizing that Tyler was a part of him the whole time, Jack can form his own identity by integrating Tyler’s characteristics into his own. The pessimism of modernity has skewed self-reflexivity, but the “fight” can still teach an individual a great deal about his identity.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Introduction Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth century, colonialism swept across the globe like a brush fire engulfing the African Savanna on a dry summers day. Long since colonial rule has seised though, the detrimental effects left by the imposed structure and influence have charred and damaged the identities of the indigenous populations of the world. To this day, the collective identities of the indigenous populations are being regrown and transformed, but the barriers left by colonialism ensure a painstakingly slow process and recovery to local indigenous identities based on cultural tradition and heritage.... [tags: Colonization and Identity]
2271 words (6.5 pages)
- FIGHT CLUB: DISSOCIATIVE IDENTITY DISORDER 2 Fight club is a drama that is based on the novel “Fight Club.” There are two main characters, the narrator and a character named Tyler Durden. The narrator doesn’t have a name and is played by Edward Norton. The character Tyler Durden is played by Brad Pitt and is suppose to be who the narrator wants to be. The movie is about a man who has insomnia and is trying to find a way to help him sleep.... [tags: Dissociative identity disorder, Mental disorder]
1706 words (4.9 pages)
- Social Identity in the Breakfast Club Breakfast Club film contained a wide variety of behavior and stereotypes. Each person had their on personality and taste at the beginning of the film. I believe that communication played the biggest part in the movie. It shows the way that people from totally different backgrounds can communicate and even agree on issues. The various types of communication and behaviors within the film will be discussed. Key terms will be pointed out and highlighted, as well as described in relation to the examples extracted from the film.... [tags: Movie Film Breakfast Club Identities Essays]
1430 words (4.1 pages)
- Fight Club and Our Consumer Identity The narrator in the film Fight Club is questioned about his devastated condo and declares, "That condo was my life, okay. I loved every stick of furniture in that place. That was not just a bunch of stuff that got destroyed, that was me!" This attitude of defining self-identity through a consumer culture has become institutionalized in the American society. The film Fight Club addresses the excessive consumerism as a sign of emotional emptiness and as a form of self-distinction.... [tags: Fight Club Essays]
1419 words (4.1 pages)
- The Search for Identity in The Joy Luck Club When Chinese immigrants enter the United States of America, it is evident from the start that they are in a world far different than their homeland. Face to face with a dominant culture that often times acts and thinks in ways contrary to their previous lives, immigrants are on a difficult path of attempting to become an American. Chinese immigrants find themselves often caught between two worlds: the old world of structured, traditional and didactic China and the new world of mobile, young and prosperous America.... [tags: Joy Luck Club Essays]
3983 words (11.4 pages)
- Search for Identity in The Joy Luck Club "Imagine, a daughter not knowing her own mother!" And then it occurs to me. They are frightened. In me, they see their own daughters, just as ignorant, just as unmindful of all truths and hopes they have brought to America. They see daughters who grow impatient when their mothers talk in Chinese, who think they are stupid when they explain things in fractured English. (Tan 40-41) Amy Tan frames The Joy Luck Club with Jing-mei Woo's search for identity.... [tags: Joy Luck Club Essays]
836 words (2.4 pages)
- All states within the international system have to bow to the inevitable and embrace its inherent dynamic force that determines the structure of their governance. Thus, no society within the international arena can stay in voluntary solitary confinement and ward itself off modernity. Berman defines modernism as "any attempt by modern men and women to become subjects as well as objects of modernisation, to get a grip on the modern world and make themselves at home in it" (Berman_1988_p. 5), which becomes increasingly troubled especially in relation to modernising the societal system of the Muslim countries.... [tags: muslim countries, iranian historym, religion]
1067 words (3 pages)
- Search for Identity in Joy Luck Club Each person reaches a point in their life when they begin to search for their own, unique identity. In her novel, Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan follows Jing Mei on her search for her Chinese identity – an identity long neglected. Four Chinese mothers have migrated to America. Each hope for their daughter’s success and pray that they will not experience the hardships faced in China. One mother, Suyuan, imparts her knowledge on her daughter through stories.... [tags: Joy Luck Club Essays]
1089 words (3.1 pages)
- Modernity and Romanticism Question 6: Select one or more thinkers and/or writers associated with Romanticism and explain how they understand the relationship between the self and the world. Selection: Charles Darwin CHARLES DARWIN Charles Robert Darwin (1809-1882), British scientist and naturalist, has undoubtedly made a vast impact on humanity during the Romanticism period until today. Darwin was the precursory figure perhaps most responsible for altering humanity’s view of nature and human nature, over the past two centuries.... [tags: Romanticism Essays]
1029 words (2.9 pages)
- The old-traditional way of life has vanished for ever. Today only villages and some small towns remind us of this kind of life, and as time passes, more people choose to abandon traditional way of life, to move to the “big city”. Modern way of life has nothing in common with the traditional one. Human habits, values, norms have changed. The most important of these social changes can be observed in human relationships, family economy, education, government, health, and religion. To be able to examine these changes, one has to compare traditional and modern way of life.... [tags: essays research papers]
904 words (2.6 pages)