In this essay i will be analyzing and discussing the themes that were discussed that were used in the movie fight club. The first and main one being is masculinity. Violence was another theme that was used. Third one and most important one is identity and the last one is consumerism. The movie tells a story in which the narrator in the story develops these new personalities as to who he actually wants to be. Fight club was created by him in which a group of men came together to fight. The main character lives life as his alter ego throughout the movie and finally snaps back to reality at the end by shooting his alter ego.
There are many scenes that show masculinity. The movie could automatically falls under the genre of action. Strength is seen as masculine and a lot of the men in the movie seem to be showing their strength in different forms. There are a lot of visual evidence of the men being physical by lifting weights and exercising. Also the club is a place just for men where a lot of femininity is not being shown or even dismissed. Feminine characteristics being compassionate is not seen a lot by Marla. Tyler is emotionless as a way of showing masculinity. The narrator obviously has intimacy or relationship fears because of his parents relationship. The movies makes me want to pay attention to gender roles and shows a lot of toxic masculinity. The movie also send out a lot of negative messages to young boys that are in their teenage years for instance. An example of that would be how tyler is emotionally abusive to marla.
Susan Faludi, while reviewing the movie in her article says, Behind the extremities of his character is the modern male predicament: he’s fatherless, trapped in a cubicle in an anonymous corporate job, trying to glean an identity from Ikea brochures, entertainment magazines and self-help gatherings. Jack traverses a barren landscape familiar to many men who must contend with a world stripped of socially useful male roles and saturated with commercial images of masculinity. It’s about modern men growing up in an unnatural environment, a place that they were not evolutionarily designed to thrive within. Society suppressing masculinity, the father figure removed from the home while lost and emotionally emasculated boys grow up to do menial jobs that they don’t like only so they can buy stuff to fill the void. But the only thing that works is stepping away from the fake world to become real men. Obviously the movie shows the tight connection between being masculine and violence.
When looking at violence, it is clearly seen that all the brutal fights gave a sense of being and purpose to the men in the group. It also successfully shows that men are predisposed to be violent. The violence in the movie helped me understand that the men receive some type of spiritual satisfaction.They use it not only to escape from their problems but also to find themselves. It gives them a sense of belonging.
Tyler uses the the club as a way to connect back together individuals with violence, the same violence that in the surface is absent from the capitalist rationalised system.
We don’t fight for our lives anymore, neither we hunt or use violence in our daily activities in any meaningful way. Instead, we pay other people to use violence for us. Like when we go to the supermarket and buy meat from an animal that has already been killed. This is an interesting perspective to look at and was written by Peter in his reviews of the movie. Turning away from violence might makes us think and assume that violence itself is fictional and absent in the world we live in. But indeed violence is still there, is just that it has been obtained from outside and is anonymous.
This reminds me of my brother as a child. He has been very violent. This is something he has learned from watching tv. He watched a lot of action movies and every movement he saw had to be practiced on myself and our cousins. For example, if he saw a movie in which a person jumps from a table and leg kicks someone else on their face, then that will be repeated in the house the next time i disagreed with him over anything. He saw violence as a way to solve his problems and that get him a lot of fulfillment.
As far as identity, one of the identity of the narrator in the movie uses Marla for sexual purposes and completely ignores her emotional needs when the other does not. The fact that there are two different identities coming out of one individual is an interesting theme to look into. At the same time i feel as though the movie is about a selfish man with multiple personalities who subconsciously handle or control other people in a skillful manner and other people to make everyone equal.
At the beginning of the story we see the narrator not being able to find the key to and feeling allowed to cry gives which plays a role in helping him find his identity. Also after the narrator’s apartment building is burnt down and he started a new life with tyler, every aspect of his life changes including his identity.
I also see a theme of consumerism. The violence that occurs in the movie whether it is between people or involving objects, it is to avoid the culture of of consumerism that is highly disliked. While the narrator and tyler are having a chat, tylers says, things you own, end up owning you. This shows how the things we consume in life are pretty much all the same even if the way of marketing is different and that consumerism controls our life. They also send out the message that when living life just consuming then we are simply following orders. When one is going to work and making money they feel the need to invest in mass produced stuff to make themselves feel, better about having a job and celebrating the little things.
I am guilty of that myself. I sometimes find myself purchasing things that i don’t necessarily need but want. Then i fool myself by telling myself i am treating myself for doing things i should be doing anyway. For instance, spending money on snacks and telling myself i deserve it for getting a good grade on an exam. Even though getting a good grade is a must i somehow make my brain believe that i deserve to get something for little accomplishments.
Peter Davis wrote an article in which he summarizes the movie and clarifies the message the movie is intending to send out. He says It’s about solitude, despair and bottled-up rage. It’s about how not to feel dead as Y2K approaches. It’s about daring to imagine the disenfranchised reducing the world to rubble and starting over. I agree with most of the ideas mentioned specifically the sentence i quoted at the same time there are some part of the outlines i overlooked in the movie. The movie is very broad and it will definitely give different messages to people with different perspectives.
It throws and involves many themes in the picture and explores. But ultimately, it is over all about the self, and the relationship one has with the society they live in. It analyzes how one feel and the view of themselves, and how they truly are and how much control they have over their own life. It shows how society is not in working order, and the extreme search humans go to, to find undiscovered truths. At the same time spreading the idea that consumerism leads to happiness. It leads people to consider the consequences of acting and thinking the way they want to go about their everyday life.
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