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Fight Club Analysis

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Essay title: Fight Club Analysis

The film ‘Fight Club’ follows, to some degree of accuracy, the archetypal paradigm of the apocalyptic guidelines discussed in English 3910. Specifically the movie mostly deals with the genre of the personal apocalypse. Thus, following suit in relation to such works as ‘Lancelot’, ‘The Violent Bear it away’ and ‘Apocalypse Now’. ‘Fight Club’, essentiality contains the basic premise of these works, that is the purging of one’s identity through extreme measures and crisis; to ultimately arrive at a personal revelation in the end.

Like ‘Apocalypse Now’, the audience is lead by narration to give a reflecting insight into the apocalyptic journey of young professional named Jack. Jack works a regular nine to five office job for an insurance company and suffers from insomnia. He finds his cure in attending support groups for the mortally afflicted. One of the first groups he attends is a testicular cancer group and discovers, through an exercise referred to as “pairing up” (to share brotherly emotion with your fellow mortally afflicted), that crying with and hugging these people makes him feel better. He, although he does not have testicular cancer, is spiritual impotent and this group allows him to fill that void in his life. He gets addicted to this, and begins attending different support groups everyday, his faking becomes his foma, he knows like the bokonist, that his new “religion” is lies. “I didn't say anything,” he explains as he forges a series of diseases. “They always assumed the worst.” Nonetheless, his search for tears and experiencing other people’s pain gave meaning to his identity. “Live by the foma that make you brave and kind and healthy and happy (‘the books of Bokonon 1:5’, Vonnegut, 1963).”

Jack has no trouble weeping in these strangers’ arms until he meets another phony, Marla, a support-group “tourist” and a reflection of himself that he finds objectionable. She claims to like the emotional workout of being with these people, which is “cheaper than a movie.” However, when Marla abruptly begins to attend all the meetings he is attending. He becomes irritated by her presence because she is a fraud too and doesn’t belong in his grandfallon. Her company reminds him that he is impostor and he doesn’t like that. They workout a deal where they split the days up between them. She gets the breast cancer and emphysema group while he takes the testicular cancer group etc… Nevertheless, Marla becomes apart of Jack’s karass.

After a month or two, the feeling of identity he gets from the support groups wears off and he begins to develop insomnia again. Unable to sleep, he volunteers to travel and represent his company abroad. Unaffected by jet lag he begins to enjoy arriving at a new destination every morning. Consequently he avoids experiencing the torturous night in which he can’t sleep. The pivotal moment in his life occurs on his flight back to his home in LA. On the plane he meets Tyler Durden, who introduces himself as a soap manufacturer. When they land in LA, they exchange business cards. Soon after his encounter with Durden, he arrives at his condo only to step over a burnt piece of his couch, to be greeted by a fireman, explaining to him that his apartment blew up. “You left the gas on and something in your apartment sparked the explosion.” In shock, Jack agonizes, “Everything I had was in there, I had my couch my matching plates and neat glasses, my life was in that apartment!” This explosion becomes the defining moment that begins his personal apocalypse. He is a man purged of identity by fire. Like Lancelot and young Tarwater, his former self is destroyed by a catastrophic event marked by flames.

His new path begins when he finds Durden’s business card, with no place to go he calls him. The two meet outside a bar and sit talking over a couple of beers. Jack explains his situation and asks Durden if he could stay with him until he gets his life on track. Durden agrees, but in return asks Jack a very odd question. “Hit me in the face, I’ve never been in a fight before, please as hard as you can,” Durden points to his jaw. After pleading with him, Jack finally agrees and punches him, only to be punched back, in the stomach. “You said to punch you, I didn’t know you were going to hit me back, ouch…wait…that felt good, could you do that again?” The pain he felt from being hit gave him a visceral feeling of pleasure that made him feel alive. Therefore, Durden shows Jack the power and ecstasy of allowing the bestial nature within him to act without restraint. Resembling the relationship between Willard and Krutz in ‘Apocalypse Now’, Durden and Jack can be seen as doubles. Only like Kurtz, Durden is aware of his darkside and accepts and nourishes it, while Jack like Willard are restricted by their institutions, but all the while they posses an impulse to let go.

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