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The society today has become a victim of civilization. The society cannot survive without possessions and materials. Motivation for survival is currently the driving force to accumulation of the worldly possessions, things which are worthless in value, but which unfortunately become very important for many people.
This paper examines estimation of several researchers concerning the film Fight Club. The researchers have pointed out their perspectives, critics and philosophical analysis. Lynn M.Ta points out that, violence is a component of gender exploration and identification. Lynn suggests that, on the one hand, violence directed towards oneself is a masculine kind of oppression. On the other hand, this violence represents the disappointment that white men undergo. Another researcher, Henry A. Giroux points out that there is masculinity partiality in the film. Giroux underlines patriarchy in the film. He claims that the collective terrorism does not only reflect suppression of masculinity, but also the destructive community that appears to be the most powerful political tool against society. James Craine and Stuart C. Aitke suggest that this is more about violence than terrorism. However, both lay a metaphor of human transcendence into making one’s personality stronger than social influence.
Fight Club reflects an outline of the modern society. Tyler Durden’s ideas, beliefs and the decisions he makes clearly indicate that the current society is functioning on the principles of consumerism. The concept of consumerism refers to the belief that great consumption of goods and resources is economically advantageous. Consumerists have the affection to materialistic possessions or values. The theory of materialism goes hand in hand with consumerism. The two have a strong attachment that worldly possessions and physical well-being comprise the highest value and greatest good in life. Today the society has adapted these theories as competition for survival increases. As Darwin claimed, only the fittest survive in such a competing environment. This is evident in the way parents take their young daughters and sons to school to get the best education possible. The child acquires the most costly education the parent can afford.
The concept of violence has always been existing in the society and will be there in the future. It is practically impossible for a society to exist without violence. In this case, therefore, it is important to come up with strategies of resolving conflict whenever violence occurs. Violence results from psychological, gender and cultural dimensions. Civilization comprises of education and urbanization, and does not eliminate violence in the society, but instead brings dissatisfaction. This dissatisfaction is likely to explode at one time in life and result into violence. This is evident in the film Fight Club. Civilization has feminized men and cultural consumption has made them mislay their genuine power and instincts. The film Fight Club demonstrates the dangerous path the subconscious mind can follow fighting feminization and trying to gain masculinity back. The fight results to destruction of lifestyle and habitual ego. It is evident in the movie that the struggle for masculinity splits personality as a result of internal disagreement between morality and instincts. On the same, the film deals with herd instinct that reinforces and collective violence.
Masculinity is dynamic and changes from one era to another. However, the concept of masculinity has a similar regularity in history: society with primitive culture has men with stronger masculinity as compared to the society with more sophisticated and developed cultures. Additionally, a society with more advanced civilization, in which religion, morality and upbringing are well-developed has men with less prominent masculinity. The reason behind this fact is western culture, which introduces Christianity. Christianity has no space for extreme masculinity since all human beings are equal in the hands of the creator. In fact, this culture views masculine qualities such as overt sexuality, courage, aggression, physical might and cruelty as unethical. It uprooted the original masculine qualities and planted feminine values such as sensitivity, empathy, acceptance and patience among others. This has created a new man who is tender and sympathetic. However, the new man is dissatisfied internally since his original wild nature still has a room and feels neglected. Tyler’s Story demonstrates how the internal wild qualities of man emerge at some stages in life.
The film illustrates the contrast existing between masculinity and femininity. It also demonstrates how men destroy the feminization created in them. At the beginning of the movie, Bob is portrayed as feminine, but later transforms to masculine. The character transforms after joining the Fight Club where he discovers his aggressiveness, which had been hidden for years. When the narrator meets with Bob at the cancer group, there is a friendship created between Bob and the narrator. This is reflected by their feminine actions such as crying which they both become engaged in. The first step to realizing his masculinity was understanding that his feminine reactions were caused by the depressed sorrow. Bob has hormonal imbalance and testicular cancer which demonstrates he has lost his masculinity. Men in the cancer group mourn after discovering that they lost their masculinity. This is the first step of recognizing the bitter loss. Marla is the only woman who visits the cancer group. Ironically, she feels more masculine than men in the group despite the fact that she is a woman. Moreover, Marla dislikes her sensitivity. She prefers her trained skills of being cynical.
After joining the Fight Club, Bob is totally transformed from a female to a male. He becomes an aggressive fighter with no regrets. It is weird to note that aggression and violence heals males and makes them feel important again. It helps them heal from the planted feminism and civilization which makes them incomplete. Bob changes from Bob to Robert Paulson. Members of the Project Mayhem repeat his name for several times, especially after the assassination of the mantra. The repetition symbolizes Bob as the symbol of the group. Lynn M. Ta speaks about the masculinity of the group and states “My argument is that violence in Fight Club is a necessary device in discussing gender identity, namely the production of white masculinity” (226). In other words, this means that transformation of Bob to Robert identifies his new gender as a male.
Many critics argue that the masculinity is presented in the film as collective. This is evident in the formation of groups such as Project Mayhem and Fight Club. The critics view the idea of masculinity as men’s false desires of worthless goods that enslave them. Therefore, destruction, aggressiveness and violence is result of objection: : “My reading argues that self-violence allows white men to play the oppressed, but it also goes to the source of their disillusionment—themselves; sitting at the top of the social and economic pecking order, they are the ones who have allowed masculinity to be commoditized. The irony is that Fight Club, and later Project Mayhem, reproduce the same effects of capitalism by creating the illusion of freedom through demands for self-regulation and self-punishment.”(Ta 267). In other words, masculinity enslaves men and forces them to engage in dangerous activities, which harm them and the entire society.
Tyler decides to use terrorism with an aim of directing the energy of freemen in attaching morals, conventions and institutions of the modern society. The ideology behind the terrorist activities planned is to destroy the society after many years of civilization and cultural consumption. The terrorist rebel and contest with an aim of destroying the society and instilling fear in the society. The terrorists enjoy violence as it makes them independent. “For Tyler, physical violence becomes the necessary foundation for masculinity and collective terrorism the basis for politics itself. In other words, the only way Tyler's followers can become agents in a society that has deadened them is to get in touch with primal instincts for competition and violence; the only way their masculine identity can be reclaimed is through the literal destruction of their present selves (that is, beating each other senseless), and their only recourse to the community is to collectively engage in acts of militia-inspired terrorism aimed at corporate strongholds.” (Giroiux 16) .In other words, Tyler’s group only found satisfaction in violence as they harmed each other mercilessly. These violent actions helped them reclaim their masculinity.
It is evident in the film that violence in Fight Club is not only anti-corporate but also anti-globalists. The narrator is in the middle class and enjoys privileges such as condominiums, consumption and corporations. However, members of Fight Club dislike these privileges. The narrator is potentially a happy man, but he is never happy indeed, and he is always in deep sadness. He feels comfortable after refusing everything that Tyler directs him to do. There was a bomb blast in the bank which hit the section where loaners registered are kept. This was targeted to release people from state burdens of loans. “Undoubtedly, masculinity and terrorism do exist in the movie; however, the violence in the movie is a more complex idea, which is a transcendence of a man to observe his own power” (Crane). In other words, personal interests and struggle for power leads to violence. The dissimilation of personal forces Tyler to rise and violence help in integrating separated parts of Tyler’s personality, that is ego, superego and id.
Jack is a disturbed person, who agonizes from insomnia. Jack comes across a doctor, who advises him to call at a support group and try to release pain with the psychological help of the support group. He declined to offer Jack medicine. Jack acquires the capability to sleep after visiting these sustenance groups, frequently of which he results crying to dismiss stress from a normal office job, normal apartment, and overcast, inspired, life. At this point, things turn bad. This happens when Marla Singer is introduced to the group. She becomes engaged in the male group. Thus, she is evidently what Jack refers to as a "faker". He is also a "faker", however, he learns that he cannot use the help of the support groups with perspective that Marla is there. Finally, he confronts her which results to their working out a contemporary solution, which finally ends up worsening.
Temporally, Jack comes across Tyler Durden. He is a robust hater of normal culture with pessimistic attitude to life. Jack and Tyler form a more complex friendship after Jack's house explodes. This effectively damages his life and whatever he owned. Jack and Tyler end up in the fight in parking much more out of being inquisitive, and end up creating a fight club once other males start to join. Most of these claimants grew up without father- a pretty interesting datum to take note whilst watching.
During the movie, Jack and Tyler initiates to drift apart as Tyler creates a project to dose popular customer culture. Eventually, Tyler and Jack get themselves at the finale of their labors, with Tyler prepared to watch a little credit card edifices explode from the total amount of fiery he had requested to be installed. Jack appreciates that. Tyler is he and nothing than a phantasm or a split personality. Jack terminates his life by inserting a gun inside his aperture and pulling on the trigger. Jack then awakens in a psychological hospital. The movies ends with fight club members scheduling to continue their labors against society as well as appealing Tyler will be back (Connell 60).
The book and film concentrates on existentialism. This is the philosophy that a person must make a meaning out of empty and chaotic universe. This individual is usually the object of sorrow. During the movie, there are many scenes which rich indications of this. For example, Tyler entitles, "Only after a tragedy we can be resurrected". Another part of evidence of existentialism is when Tyler highlights that, "It's only when we have lost all our properties that we get time to perform anything." At one instance, Tyler exacts a chemical blister onto Jack. This is a study that tries to clarify the single fact that, you cannot acquire anything in this life till you hit the bottom. Existentialism clarifies the necessity for one to style decisions to improve one's life. He added that one becomes who one is determined to be. Evidently, the movie concentrates on this philosophy (Butler 22).
Sigmund Freud, a famous psychologist, suggested existence of id, superego and ego. The id is importantly the driving inspiration that constantly demands pleasure. The ego balances and checks the id, as it undertakes activities for a pleasure to be achieved. Lastly, the superego concerns the moral perspective which suppresses the id. Jack undertakes an interesting scheme of moralities in Freud's perspective. Jack is initially contented with the normal, life bland of having a common condo and job. His superego is evidently doing a good job. Though, it might be working all. The id drives Tyler Durden in the attempt to overwhelm its rival. Whilst the id is fruitful in acquiring its objectives, the ego remains operational. Whilst it become hard to observe, as Jack and Tyler are exact contraries, the ego performs as a mediator among the two in the efforts of ending the conflict. As Tyler and Jack become similarly aware of each other, the ego claims responsibility of conveying a sense of concord to the circumstance (Connell 57).
Also, there exist the issues of gender identity misperception to consider the effect. However, Jack should not be considered feminine; there exists a definite variation between Tyler and Jack with respect to masculinity. For example, Jack amasses furniture for a diversion. This denotes far from masculine, as well as far from masculinity distinctiveness of Tyler. It would be seen that, the gender distinctiveness confusion complements to the right balance of superego and id, and finally helps Jack acquire things that he could not have achieved. For example, Jack contracts into his initial fight, although with himself. He confronts his boss in a turn of rebellion alongside conformity. He, as well, finds a gorgeous lady to date, which is contingent to the nature of his personality. This privation of virility could be credited to Jack's deficiency of a father stature in early childhood. However, no matter what was undertake it lead to disastrous results in his personality (Butler 30).
Apparently, a matriarch way of development was the reason for numerous predicaments Jack had to deal with. As with respect to other characters in the movie and book the common men associated with Jack do not feet in the image of the father. This led a cohort of youth progress without the correct direction of a father. In essence, it shaped masculinity over many severe means. Fascinatingly, this led to an upsurge of schizophrenia. Poverty is often a major cause of schizophrenia, and this is witnessed in a greater way between single mother relations than that single father or of couple’s families. This brands it quite possible that, Jack was misery from schizophrenia due to poverty although such many forces could have contributed a direct cause. Inheritance is another huge source of the disorder, and the father of Jack was not stated in this background. It would look like the exact reason of Jack's likely schizophrenia cannot be resolute due to lack of evidence.
When looking at mass conflict in Fight Club, the model of the herd character appears quite reasonable for the narrator’s conduct. The introduction scene of the video once the narrator puts Tyler’s gun in his mouth contemplating concerning the terroristic exploits that they tried to employ to reflect the notion of why violence is so powerful. Since Tyler and narrator is one individual, the truth deceits in the midst of polarities, and the truth is not designed by simple mathematical formulae, nonetheless is a complex synthesis incorporation of polar apparitions.
The scene concerning beating himself in the presence of his employer remains quite powerful since it marks the joint of no reappearance for the narrator. His ego becomes out of rheostat, and he will not live a classic office employee life anymore. This makes the reasons why he extortions his employers, although not positively at first. The maker of the movie demonstrates that, true liberty is strange and that, it is not bowled in glittering paper such as a candy. In the film, freedom is bloody and dirty, though this makes a masculine means justifiable having it by grieving into a contemporary personality. The final part after Tyler’s assassination is more powerful, since the man lastly acquires his real personality by combining its sections into a whole. This section of the movie is an allegory of an individual habitual of his masculinity after he has unfettered it from domination of social morals (Butler 26).
In conclusion, it is significant highlighting that, Fight Club is a movie that induces controversial moods and numerous interpretations. In their means, all critics highlighted right approximately their unique points of view of violence treatment since it opens various dimensions of the landing. Overall, masculinity remains a main concept that is obtainable in the movie in the background of civilization and corporate world. There are apprehensions of partaking lost real masculinity incessantly. Feminization of fell as though periods by culture and current values of existence is indicated as causing loss of life and dangerous discontent sense. Similarly, terrorism and violence are symbols of cleansing and transfer to a new level s of more integrated personality and manhood. The Herd instinct model can be used to explain the technique of collective conflict that goes out of control. Energy exchange among males functions in means that, it strengthens the destruction that can be a significant phase of maturing all the same.