Fight Club Compared To Siddhartha

Fight Club Compared To Siddhartha

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Since the beginning of time, man

has been on a quest to find his inner self. This topic has

been the theme of many books and researches. This is no

exception, in the 1959 book, Siddhartha by Hermann

Hesse. In this particular story the main character,

Siddhartha, is trying to find his ‘inner self’. He tries to

accomplish this in many ways, one being self denial or

destruction. This is also the case in the 1996 book, Fight

Club by Chuck Palahniuk, in which the main theme

promoted is that destruction leads to purity. These two

works, written almost 40 years apart, which at first glance

seem to be complete opposites, are actually spawns from

the archetypal theme of man’s quest from self knowledge.

Many issues in each of these stories give reason to believe

that the authors had the same idea in mind. It could also be

said that the author of Fight Club may have read

Siddhartha. This is so because of the fact that many quotes

in Fight Club relate to Hinduism, which is the religion of the

heron in Siddhartha. For example, at a point in Fight Club,

a character questions his safety. The reply from the

character, Tyler Durden, is, “You’re as safe as a Hindu

cow”, is a metaphor that since the cow is very respected in

the Hindu religion and is not harmed. This may be mere

coincidence, but other information gives reason to believe

otherwise. Other than just saying that there is a connection

with something that is said in the two books, there is also

connections with the themes and styles of each book. In

Siddhartha the charters often speak in ways the you may

have to think about to understand the full meaning. This is

also true in the case of Fight Club. At one point in

Siddhartha, the character Govinda [Siddhartha’s friend]

says, “He who in contemplation, with purified mind,

immerses himself in Atman, Inexpressible in words is his

heart’s bliss.” These quotes convey the idea of the actually

enlightenment. In Fight Club, it is common to see quotes

like, “You are not a beautiful and unique snow flake” which

tells Tyler Durden’s followers that what they may think they

are is completely false. This type of put down is a major

ingredient in the stew of mayhem which leads to

enlightenment. When you compare the actual meanings of

Fight Club and Siddhartha, you will find that they are very

much alike. Fight Club is a release for people. It helps you

know yourself, know what you can do, and know your

limits. In the book, it would often be used by people with

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terminal illnesses in place of a support group. The ultimate

goal of what the people where trying to accomplish in Fight

Club was to gain complete self fulfillment by doing

something that ordinarily would not be considered helpful,

but painful. In Siddharha, the main character is also trying

to find fulfillment to break the cycle of life in which we are

trapped. An idea that is shared in the two works is that

time is an illusion. The main character in Fight Club, who is

referred to as Jack, has insomnia. He pleases him self by

buying things, but later on finds out that, “It is only until

you’ve lost everything, are you free to do anything” which

is also a theory that Siddhartha has. This is expresses in the

line from Siddhartha that states, “May I never be complete,

may I never be content.” These quotes show that this

theory of finding ones ‘self’ is a universal idea shared by

everyone. May it be the style of writing, the well thought

out phrases, or the over all theme of these books, it can be

easily shown that these works are very similar. Many other

people have written books based on the principals that, “In

death we become heroes” and “Disaster is part of

evolution”, showing that only by destruction and pain, will

one find and experience his self. This archetypal theme has

been discussed for as long time has existed and will

continue to be spawned into many other works of

literature, each having common traits and sharing the

common idea of finding a meaning in life.
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