The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide

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Review of the movie Fight Club (1999) of the project What is good.

“Fight club” – a feature film by David Fincher, produced after the cognominal novel of Chuck Palahniuk and released in 1999. The film is often being characterized in a society as cultic and takes high places in many ratings: for example, the 10th place in a list of 250 best movies according to IMDb.

The plot at a glance

A nameless main hero of a story – lonely, lacking willpower and lost in life young man, working in a return department of a big automobile company on a rather cynic position. He calculates the allowability of company costs on a waste car models modification, which are being detected through various deaths of their customers. After half-year of a cruel insomnia the hero finds a relief of his sufferings in psychological support groups for people with serious diseases. Shortly after that on his life journey he meets two interesting people: a woman called Marla Singer, who attends same support groups to entertain herself, and Tyler Durden, a charismatic young man, earning his living by producing soap and having untypical life mindset.

After the main hero’s flat explosion for unknown reasons, he moves to a shabby house to his new friend. Tyler infects the main hero with his mindset and such ideas as refusal from material benefits, the necessity of pain, self-destruction and many others. The main hero stops attending the physiological support groups and together with Tyler organizes an underground fight club, where they and the other men find the lessening of everyday tensions and the feeling of pointlessness of life. Later the fight club develops into a scale, secret project “Mayhem”, which goal becomes a radical revamping of a society, among which – zeroing out the financial system, planned to realize through destruction of buildings, in which offices of big bank companies are located.

In parallel with the happenings in the film, connected to the fight club and the project “Mayhem”, the development of sophisticated relationships between the main hero with Marla Singer and Tyler Durden is being pictured. The sharp turn of the plot closer to the end of the movie, reveals that Tyler Durden – is a figment of the imagination of the main hero, his alternative personality, becoming active, while he is sleeping. It is becoming known, that all, what have been done together with Tyler – fight clubs and the project “Mayhem” events – in actual fact the main hero has organized alone, and the affair, which earlier developed between Marla and Tyler, has been happening also between Marla and the main hero. The story finishes by the murder from the main hero of his second personality, Tyler Durden, the realization of the global act of terrorism of the project “Mayhem” and the union of the main hero with Marla Singer.

Let us follow, which ideas and meanings the movie conducts.

Manhood images (-/+)

fight club 1 The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide

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The “Fight Club”, representing a crowd of enraged men, tired from ties and stupid jobs and undertaking a deadly repartition of a society, is commonly believed to be a profoundly “men film”, and one of the main questions, which arise here – is what a real man is like.

The beginning of the movie is clearly addresses to the subject of lost masculinity. In front of the audience appears a sad meeting of men, who went through a procedure of orchotomy because of a disease (a blunt metaphor of lost masculinity). The sign above the ill holds: “Stay men together”, however the masculinity preservation realizes by them in a miserable way – by telling grievous stories and mass crying. A group member called Bob is becoming the peak of a scene – the ex-body builder, lost not only his testicles, but gained a woman’s breast. A sad giant with a woman’s breast and thin miserable voice is representing practically the ruin of a man and masculinity. By a twist of a fate the nameless main hero, who is played by Edward Norton, is found among these people, what assumes – he is still the same “man” like them.

Norton’s hero is starting his progress from this point. From the fact, that he is not a real men. Apart from the hero dwells among those, who have lost a distinctive men part of the body, at leisure he does the garnishment of his house (a typical woman’s business), is suffering from shopaholism (also more in regards to women), has problems with authoritarian figures, his father and boss, and when having a sympathy to a woman, he starts to suppress it in himself in every way. By the final, having passed his way of a hero, the character appears in front of the audience no longer as a passive typist clerk, erasing a dust from his glassware and searching through the catalogues of pillowcases, as he used to be, but as an independent person, being held in wide respect and having a significant influence among men, having overcome much and realized a range of bold projects. “He is the most on the face of the earth” – is said about the hero at the end of the story. Therefore, one of the main conceptual lines of the film becomes the reemergence from a sissy to a man.

A global teacher on this evolutional way for the main hero becomes Tyler Derden – his shady personality, involuntary “born” under the weight of problems, with which Norton’s hero could not consciously cope (the sense of self- weakness, social frustration, displaced inclination to a woman, suppressed aggression, dislike towards a boss etc.). As judged by Tyler’s character and that exactly he step by step changes the main hero from weakness to strength (“You are the way you are because of me” – he addresses to him in the end), it can be said, that Tyler is being positioned by the creators of the story the very same real men. Everyway idealized – independent and goal-oriented, smart and talented, strong and attractive, this hero knows, what he wants, and is able to find the necessary ways to reach his goals. “You were looking for a way to change your life. You could not do this on your own. All the ways you wish you could be, that’s me. I look like you want to look, I fuck like you want to fuck, I am smart, capable, and most importantly, I am free in all the ways that you are not”, – says Tyler to Norton’s hero. Moreover, at a slight beck of Tyler every person happened to be under his influence changes: “Sooner or later, we all became what Tyler wanted us to be”, – the main hero mentions.

An example of hyper masculinity of Tyler is inspiring. And not only for the heroes of the movie, but for the audience as well, that’s why it is interesting and important, which human traits and qualities are carried out in the film as corresponding to a cool/outstanding/real man. Thereby we will study out, what kind of a man surreptitiously is offered to a viewer-man to similarly be successful and advanced.

The most brightest sides of a local image of all-powerful, cool, real man – given through Tyler Durden and correspondingly changing under his influence Norton’s hero – are announced suchlike (all moments are going to be described in detail further, showing, what content is really hidden behind each of the identified points):

  1. Readiness to act
  2. Materialism and consumerism denial
  3. Intellect usage
  4. Power usage
  5. Social sabotage
  6. Co-thinkers attainment
  7. Sexual relationships attainment
  8. Passing through pain
  9. Denial the superiors and “knocking out” the desired from them
  10. Active affection on a society
  11. Responsibility
  12. Self-destruction

Let us go through the detected traits of a real man of the “Fight club” style in detail and disclose their positiveness and negativeness.

The real man – is a man of action (+)

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One of a few uncontroversial subjects, positive.

Tyler Durden, a shady personality of the main hero, – is a person-tornado, who is constantly on the move, ready to solve some questions and actively achieve set goals. Having met this part of his personality, the main hero, for a long time being startled, is also noticeably moves towards the activity. This especially noticeable in the end of the film, when Norton’s hero is searching for Tyler throughout the country, and having realized, that this is actually him, starts acting confidently and untypically for the former himself in order to prevent the act of terrorism, prepared aswoon.

A real man – is not a materialist and consumerist (-/+)

plus The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide  minus The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide  One of the first things that does Norton’s hero, begetting himself an active alter-ego, – gets rid of his materialistic rootedness. The movie is broadly faced towards the subject of materialism and consumerism harm, and Tyler’s statements towards this subject take the special interest:

  • “Why guys like you and I know what a duvet is?” (a blanket) “Is this essential to our survival? In the hunter-gathered sense of the word? No.” – pointlessness of consumer “delicacies”,
  • “We are by-products of a lifestyle obsession. [With sarcasm] Murder, crime, poverty, these things don’t concern me. What concerns me are celebrity magazines, television with 500 channels, some guy’s name on my underwear” – a priority of materialism and consumerism, which is forced as a success indicator, destructing from acute problems,
  • “Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need” – pointlessness of consumer “circulation”,
  • “You are not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet” – a refusal of identifying yourself with your property,
  • “The things you own end up owning you”– identifying yourself with material values is similar to slavery.

Appeals to deny materialism and change your world perception:

  • “I refuse a postulate about material assets value”,
  • “[…] Fuck off with your sofa units and string green stripe patterns”,
  • “How very pathetic are you. Why did I, to your opinion, have blown up your house? […] Stop clinging to everything and take it easy. Spit!”,
  • “You simply lost a row of attributes of a modern lifestyle”,
  • “Tell them, that the one, who destroyed my property, had presented me a new view of life”,
  • “In the world I see – you’re stalking elk through the damp canyon forests around the ruins of Rockefeller Center. You’ll wear leather clothes that will last you the rest of your life”.

The connection of anti-materialism of Tyler with his global attitudes, about which we’ll talk about later:

  • “It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything”.

Many ‘thesis” of Tyler’s anti-consumerism study sound really sound, however, when getting it all sorted out, we face significant contradictions.

First of all, the anti-materialism in the “Fight Club” is obviously passes healthy forms, getting together incompatible reasons and actions. Read more:

The unconscious main hero destroys his flat and things, about which he was for a long time obsessed, and settles among mountains of rubbish in a destroyed house with creepy living conditions. This extreme example of anti-materialism, which we see here, from the one hand is not new – we can think of Spartan lifestyle, Buddhism, holy hermits, which at first the main hero reminds. However, to make such comparisons correct, it is critically to know, which ideas are hidden behind anti-materialistic actions of the main hero, and how much they are alike to those truths of Spartans (securing people’s equality, healthy lifestyle) and Buddhists with hermits (aspiration to God). For what sake Norton’s hero makes his jumping to a material abyss?

The main hero extracts himself from the materialistic paradise in incarnation of Tyler. Obviously, Tyler wasn’t looking for God and mind exaltation for himself and for his bearer in doing so (what will become more clear in the 4th chapter of the article) – therefore, versions about Buddhism and holy hermitry are dropped. Tyler obviously also doesn’t act for the healthy lifestyle through asceticism – the hero smokes and drinks alcohol, and get Norton’s hero addicted to these as well, he doesn’t care much about his body (“I want you to hit me as hard, as you can”), however, he follows the style and how (in the next point in detail). Consequently, the version about ascetic-Spartans is also dropped. As judged by most of Tyler’s theses about his mother, listed above, and not failing deeply to his global philosophy, the hero is just clearly understands the harm of material immoderacies, explicitly enslaving a person and her will, realizes the falsity of success, embodied in the material plenty, and broadly wants to enlighten his bearer in this respect. Therefore, we understand that to a large extent rooting out the main hero from his materialistic life is happened just as a therapy against his past, heavily consumer lifestyle, against false understanding of him the meaning of materia.

And here we can track the already mentioned misbalance of action and the cause. If the picture translated an example of a healthy anti-materialism, then the evidence would “keep” the balance and developed differently. Norton’s hero in becoming an anti-materialist would then:

1) either, as he did, extremely negated the materia, but would have done it for the sake of complementary goals – in behalf of finding highest truths, God, love, harmony – truly faithful reasons of radical denial of the materia. The goal of genuine asceticism is always – reaching the mental purge, the highest perfection, a disinterested love to God.

Here the withdrawal to extreme asceticism of the hero was done evidently not in behalf of these, i.e. we get the correct action (radical anti-materialism) and incorrect reason from the hero’s side (not for the benefit of God and mind’s harmony, but for the destruction of extra materia in his life).

2) or he had reached an anti-materialistic clarification corresponding to his subconscious goals of lifestyle changing – i.e. simply threw out his catalogues of things, tied finally up with shameful shopaholism, sacrificed extra things, having left the necessary minimum, and brought back his attention to something more worthy. But, no, wishing a release from the material drowning, the hero had blown up everything, he had, i.e. we get the correct reason (the destruction of an extra materia) and incorrect action, inadequate to a reason (not a relief of the material side of life, but zeroing out).

The fact, that the way out on an anti-materialism described here is very far from constructiveness, is supported by two more moments. It has been noticed that Tyler almost doesn’t distinguish the “attributes” and functional things, needed for a living. Having blown up the apartment of his bearer, he claims, that he “simply lost a row of attributes of a modern lifestyle” – however, in reality the main hero had lost all his shelter, but not just separate consumer “bells and whistles”, which were necessary to him for the creation of an image of self-success. Another moment is in that Tyler’s radical anti-materialism, not distinguishing the necessary materia from the extra, fits logically into his general worldview, about which we’ll talk about in the 2nd chapter, and what doesn’t improve at all the situation with the extreme image of anti-materialism in the movie.

Another contradiction about the anti-materialism is in that Tyler, a local ideologist of the materia denial, himself obviously doesn’t look like a high-morality ascetic. He convinces his bearer, Norton’s hero, that he sees him in coats in a destroyed city, which will be on him for the rest of his life, dresses the project “Mayhem” participants in laconic black clothes and makes them shave their heads bold – but himself wears an ideal set, many beautiful clothes and accessories, not repeating his “looks” in different episodes, and naturally stirs up the consumer interest from the fans side of the picture (feel the contradiction, the anti-materialistic movie – inspires to consume).

fight club 2 The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide

An asceticism guru in the “Fight Club” happens to be a simply real ideal for consumers and same male-models, which he laughs at, just a little bit “shabby” and poured with blood, which scuttles the subject much.

Then, finally, here we can find another similar contradiction. Had the “Fight Club” seriously condemned materialism and consumerism, then the audience is unlikely to see in the picture that much of a product-placement. Cool heroes, who rejected comfort, sofas, plaids, ties etc., are getting their enlightment surrounded by always gleaming brands: Pepsi, Starbucks, Colgate, which gives away the mockery of the filmmakers and another time shows – there were no real goals to condemn materialism and inspire the audience to corresponding views in the “Fight Club”.

fight club 3 The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide

fight club 4 The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide

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fight club 7 The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide

As a result, the ideas of consumerism judgment here are mostly nominal (=fictional). Omitting really sound sides of the subject, the movie as a pendulum wiggles from one extreme to another.

Extreme #1. In the context of rational reasoning about the harm of materialism (listed above), the “Fight Club” practically doesn’t picture for its audience a useful asceticism, which is an antonym of a consumerism, or the correct highest goals, for the sake of which it is wort becoming a radical ascetic (searching for God, true harmony, rising of a mind). When leaving the common thingism, from which many people are really suffering, here is offered to become a self-torture homeless, i.e. running to pointless extreme.

Extreme #2. The movie promotes mottled and especially embodied image of a quasi-asceticism teacher Tyler Durden, and also advertises modern brands through hidden product-placement in scenes. During materialism judgment veiledly promoting things and brands – it’s a little bit inconsistent.

The detected extremes are connected with an image of an advanced man, i.e. offering to those, who want to become like that, the creators of the story recommend, from the one side, to blow up everything, they acquired on this frail earth, not in accordance with something really high, from the other side, – to repeat the image of quasi-ascetics Tyler and get yourself some hidden here symbols of “anti-consumerism”, for example, a soda “Pepsi”.

The real man uses his brain (-/+)

minus The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide  plus The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide  The usage of the intelligence and knowledge is one of the key moments in the plot of the “Fight Club” and the local image of the real masculinity, and also an interesting supposition of Tyler’s appearance.

As we see, at work the main hero just needs to mechanically calculate the same formula and passively follow the instructions of his boss, in order what to do/do not do. During the meeting with Tyler of the main hero, the first notices the intelligence of the second, when joking about one-use friends:

Norton’s hero: Tyler, you are by far the most interesting single-serving friend I have ever met… Everything on a plane is single-serving…
Tyler: Oh, I get it. Very clever.
Norton’s hero: Thank you.
Tyler: How’s it working out for you?
Norton’s hero: What?
Tyler: Being clever?
Norton’s hero: Great.
Tyler: Keep it up, then. Right up.

Even though further the clever one in tandem of heroes is Tyler, who is “the goldmine of information” and widely uses his knowledge on practice, however, because Tyler and the main hero – is the one person, we understand that all knowledge used in the movie in reality rules exactly the main hero. “I know this – because Tyler does” – what is in fact vice versa. Nonexistent Tyler disposes his knowledge, because the main hero has it. Therefore, one of the conditions of Tyler’s origin was the non-valuation and melancholy of the main hero in his life from the intelligence viewpoint. Non-demanded and suppressed life ware of Norton’s hero managed to break into the outside only through the alternative personality, which resulted in reemergence of the main hero from a scrub to a man.

However, even though the picture keeps interest and demonstrates, how important it is to use one’s intellect on practice, in order to be sound and independent person, the concrete example of it in the movie, unfortunately inadequate. The intellect here is used to blow up more – “With enough soap one could blow up anything”, which to a great extent zeroes out the positiveness of this in general not altogether bad subject.  

The real man uses his strength (-/+)

minus The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide  plus The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide  At one of the meetings of Tyler and Norton’s hero the first claims: “You don’t know, who you are, if you’ve never fought”. And the following scene of the heroes’ fight (even though in reality the main hero had beaten up himself) becomes the first step to creation of the fight club, where the other men through fists and muscles usage, as Tyler said, get to know themselves.

In this subject, as in the one above, again we can detect a row of contradictions.

From the one hand, the “Fight Club” asks correct questions: what a man has to do with his might and masculinity, if all, what he is tied to, is to attend an office, separate slips of paper and use the same algorithm on a calculator? What’s to be done with the primitive power, which is closed inside and is hunger at least once in a while to be expressed? As an answer to this question here is offered to attend the club of fights under the humane slogans: to fight in a civilized way and only before the moment, when one of the fighters hangs up.

This is rightly so. Many people find themselves a similar decision: do sports, including martial arts – to make physical power expressed, and body, that vessel of a soul, doesn’t suffer from “abandonment”. “Only there (in the fight club) everyone understood himself very much alive”, “After the fight we felt, that we’d found salvation”, – says Norton’s hero, entered upon such physical spacing – and this is in many ways is a useful example.

However, we lean to the next minus and contradiction of the subject straight away: the usage of physical power in the movie doesn’t just stay as a useful spacing, a part of cultural routine, but flies up is some kind of a cult of a masculine primitiveness, becomes a “ceiling”, further which a crowd of rebellious men of the “Fight Club” will never really get. “You don’t yourself, if you’d never fought” – fights are held in order of self-understanding and understanding of your power, good, but to what thing this understanding leads? The men, who were literally or metaphorically deprived of their testicles, realized that they’re men still, and… Delightedly followed further to their leader Tyler, happened to be participants of the project “Mayhem”, mindless and at random making either vandalism, or half-attempts of social struggle. The men in fight clubs realized their power, but clean forgot to learn anything else – more important for a person: wisdom, for instance, honor or conscience. Acknowledged their might, but not more than that, Tyler’s fighters have easily turned into puppet’s condition, “space monkeys”, indifferent to where exactly their leader threw them.

Therefore, plotlines of the film, connected to personal power usage, from the one side, remind the audience, how important it is not to forget about your body, its training, usage, but further it is only displayed that without some highest resources a power – at best is nothing. And at worst – just single destruction, what is seen by chaotic and mostly harmful deeds of the project “Mayhem”, a robust extract of men’s might without a positive vector of activity.

fight club 8 The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide

In a power theme of the “Fight Club” some programming of a society can also be tracked. Translation to the masses such attractive images of power and aggression, as in this film, with picturing some fair disadvantages of a society (will be named in a separate chapter), probably, could be aimed to the corresponding resonance, power and aggression accumulation in the audience society. However, together with the accumulation of power in the masses producers of the cultic picture don’t offer any highest goal for its usage. The viewers of the “Fight Club” are shown that in a society there are some problems – good. The viewers of the “Fight Club” are shown that they need to brace up and give way their power – good. But the audience of the “Fight Club” is not being ideologically directed to anything – i.e. the power in the society just magnetically allocated and directed to wander around closed-loop labyrinth (probably, counted to the non-usage of a part of a social power in a viable way – the more people waste their energy on rubbish, in the better position social shady engineers are).

The resume of the above point is: mostly the movie translates an image of a real man as absurd, primitive power + noticeably the aggression among the movie fans being pendulated, but purposely no healthy vector, by which this energy could flow further, in this Hollywood product is given.

The real man – is an opponent of a service sector (-)

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A clearly negative theme. The ideal man, Tyler Durden, is called in the movie “a terrorist of a service system”. Working as a motion picture operator, waiter at the banquets and soap producer, the hero prefers to do explicit sabotage. He glues porno-cadres in the movies, which children watch (reminds clearly of one company), spoils food, served to his clients, in a horrible way, and makes soap from human’s fat, which he picks up from litter containers of a lipo clinics – “we sold rich women their own fat asses”. All these is being accomplished by the cultic Tyler Durden (and in reality – by the main hero, who because of his insomnia engages in sabotage on all these jobs) under slogans… no slogans in fact. To this part of the remonstrative activity of a super-character has not been added any passionate speeches. Social harmfulness is called simply “an interesting opportunity”.

Is there any use to explain in detail, what’s wrong here?

What is also important here is that engaging in sabotage toward the others, Tyler still continues to consume some services: for example, often drinks beer – which was produced and sold to him by somebody. It would not be a surprise, if instead of a beer Tyler drinks urine of some protector like himself. As a matter of fact if a person does harm towards the others, he will result in getting back the same attitude.

The real man is surrounded by like-minded people (-/+)

minus The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide  plus The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide  The “Fight Club” pictures, how around the main hero steadily gathers a big number of people, supporting his ideas, and how together they co-operate for scale actions in the society.

From the one hand, the subject of ideological unity is very good, this is what the humanity extremely lacks on the given stage of its development. However, from the other hand – in the movie again there are contradictions, sicne the fight club and the project “Mayhem” memebers often look more like brainless soldiers-followers of Tyler/Norton’s hero charisma, then on his full-featured associates.

It is interesting, that one more of the conceptual supppositions of Tyler’s appearance, were constant appeals to find oneself a partner in positivity in the support groups, which Norton’s hero attented.

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Having made small talks with Bob, Marla, a neighbor in the place, other people and not found in them the very same positive partnership, the main hero just simply created himself a partner-hallucination. And even though paradoxically Norton’s hero from time to time sadly wails on a subject of his loneliness (“People, met me during the flights – are single-use friends. We spend time together from the take-off till the landing and no more than that”, “When people think, that you are dying, they are really listening to you, not just wait for their turn to start speaking”, “I’m terrifyingly lonely. Father had dropped me. Tyler had dropped me. I’m Jack’s broken heart”), he is not going to really solve this problem. Any ideas of real partnerships/friendship in the film are simply “faded” – the one applicant on a positive partnership dies, and in many ways by the fault of the main hero (Bob), the second more or less “alive” character in his surrounding appears to be deformed not at any price – again by the main hero (“blonde guy”).

In such a way, the subject of like-mindedness in the movie, as the subject of anti-consumerism, is mostly an attractive fiction. One of the circle of like-minded fellows of the main hero – is unreal, the other – dies because of him, the third – is deformed by him, and the rest look more like carton figures, illustrated as simple crowd, even though in a frame of some progressive secret movement.

I.e. from the point of view of the allocated by the movie image of the cool man, such theme supply assumes, that a righteous man should sort of be surrounded by like-minded fellows – yes, but at the same time “by quality” they can be whichever (the main team-mate of Norton’s hero happens to be a hallucination + boneless and stupid members of fight clubs and the project “Mayhem” + any ideas of friendship in the film are “faded”), that in substance creates and promotes a “loneliness in the crowd” effect and a meeting of minds for fun.

The real man – is “a horney” (-/+)

minus The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide  plus The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide  The movie reveals sex-programming of mind, aimed to men audience.

The movie reveals sex-programming of mind, aimed to men audience. Here its specific role on a way of Norton’s hero from spinelessness to a necessary masculinity plays Marla Singer. She appears in life of the central hero, when he, crying, cuddles to a chest of the fallen bodybuilder, which creates the following meaning combination: the unreal man (Norton’s hero), hugging the unreal woman (Bob with a chest), suddenly sees a real woman, effective and attractive. From the reaction of the main hero, and that further a magnifical part of his attention is constantly focused on her, it becomes clear that Marla “caught” him. The hero shows his dislike or indifference to her everyway, but a row of suppositions allows understanding, that in reality he feels differently.

At one of the sessions of directed meditation as his animal power the main hero sees her – invitingly sitting in his imaginary cave. In another moment the hero comes to this dream – now he imagines how he’s going to kiss her. And, properly, Tyler Durden, the alternative personality of the hero, solving his various inner dilemmas, easily and steadily enters into intimate relationships with this woman.

All these implies, that the main hero really feels not abruption to Marla, as showed, but a sexual appetence, but at the same time he is not only ready to deal with this fact, but even realize it, actualizing everything through the alternative personality.

At a whole, through a complicated scheme of relationships of the main hero, Marla and Tyler the filmmakers veiledly promote understanding of a real man through his sexual realization. How it is been formulated?

– It is pictured, that sexual relationships occur between Marla and the second hero’s personality, Tyler, however, the plot constantly returns to the showdown between Marla and directly the main hero, pushing out his sympathy to her – and the things are sorted out, roughly speaking, on a subjects the “man or not” the main hero is.

– It is being demonstrated, that in between sex sessions with Tyler Marla, till the end not understanding a split of Norton’s hero on two people and seeing in front of her really the same person, is trying to “swing” directly the main hero – cold, asexual guy – on a subject of inclination to her. She invitingly grasps him at the necessary zones, asks to check her breast on a matter of calcifications (ambiguously asking if he can “Feel anything”, “You feel nothing?”), but the hero simply doesn’t give way. At the same time he is interested in Marla, and rejects her, i.e. he is locked between “yes” and “no” in his inner struggle about her.

– In one moment heroes talk about a groups split between them, in order not to see each other, and again the question is arising, is Norton’s hero a man:

Main hero: As for the testicular cancer there is nothing to talk about, isn’t it? (Assumed that since the group is for men, then he should attend it, not Marla) Marla: But I’m more likely to appear there, you have testicles onsite.

Main hero: Are you kidding?
Marla: Don’t know. What, no? (I.e. a «man» is the main hero or not – does he have testicles or not in a figural way).

– Again empathizing the same main subject in their relationships – “a man or not”, Marla in one episode offers the main hero, once again refusing to answer her sexual invitations, to wear her dress.

– When the main hero and Tyler discuss, that the second has slept with Marla, it is noticeable that the first feels affected. Whereby he says to himself: “Yes, he got through this” (!). Tyler had gotten done with what the main hero wanted to deal with – to have sexual relationships with the woman he liked.   

– In the final scene, when the main hero and Marla are finally together, on the screen the donkified man’s organ drops through, confirming finally, that the hero has reborn into a “man”.

Through the strange love triangle in the “Fight Club” the audience is being translated the idea, that in such situation, consciously not entering into sexual relationships with Marla (which the main hero would want, but pushes down his wish and realizes it through the second personality, and which Marla would want, everyway stimulating him on this subject), Norton’s hero – is not a “man”.

However, gradually, he more and more integrates with his shady personality – thereby, assuming, that he is the same, as Tyler, has all the same features and abilities. As a result, all demonstrated on the screen sexual deeds of Tyler happen to be the deeds of the main hero. Marla, confirming the idea of importance of understanding the masculinity through sexual abilities, tells Norton’s hero in one of the last episodes, that he is the great lover.

Thereby, the movie has a corresponding self-programming of mind, aimed to men. If you want to be a real man, says the film, you must be a sexual giant (likewise integrate in oneself a personality of a hero-pussy with a personality of a horney). Yet you are not the same type, don’t have unroofing sexual relationships with screams from orgasms on the whole house, then you are among those, who don’t have testicles, and can wear a dress).

The line with relationships of Marla and the main hero looks partly romantic, in it is even put the sin of hero’s wholeness recovery – Tyler forbids the main hero to discuss him, when talking to Marla – i.e. somehow she disturbs this psychological split of the hero, promoting wholeness and reunion with himself. But still by its filling this plot’s line is neither love, nor saving, but leads to sexual ideas and understanding the masculinity through sexual “achievements”.

The real man is ready to suffer from pain (-/+)

minus The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide  plus The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide  The specific of this subject in the “Fight Club” reminds many above themes: the good thought is announced, but the realization is inadequate.

The specific of this subject in the “Fight Club” reminds many above themes: the good thought is announced, but the realization is inadequate.

Tyler teaches the main hero that for the personal growth it is important to feel pain, and then beats him, puts him a chemical burn, throws into auto crash, tells, that without pain was nothing, and as a result we have some deceptive paradox. The idea that one has to be ready to go through one kind of pain or another is widespread, but it is connected with the achievement of some important goals and tasks. For the sake of what pain is needed here?

The sin of necessity of pain in the “Fight Club” is tracked the brightest in the episode with the chemical burn. There Tyler explains to the main hero, that this rough challenge is needed for the sake of mortification with the fact that he will sooner or later die. Before the car accident, which Tyler organizes for himself, Norton’s hero and a couple of guys from the “Mayhem”, he again starts the conversation about an impending death. I.e. in many ways the pain is being tested by the heroes as a preparation to the fact that they will have to die someday.

If we judge sound, is there a real necessity of such pain and with such reasons? The heroes of the “Fight Club” do not suffer from pain, fighting for the motherland or justice, saving someone or plainly improving themselves in something, but, making for the death, organize some task-oriented pain procedures.

fight club 281 The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide

Therefore, as for the pain the movie in general translates the idea, that even if behind experienced by you pain do not hide some any noble reasons, you are still cool and brave person, who tasted danger and was on the razor-edge. Frankly speaking, following the logic of the main heroes, one can simply cut his hands by the razer and already feel himself the real “man”. And now look at the emos and goths, practicing totally same Tyler-comates painful “spa-procedures”, and realize, how close such pain is towards the masculinity idea. Without something truly highest such pain trials, as in the “Fight Club”, – are just absurd.

fight club 12 The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide

As controversial anti-materialism, the specific pain subject also fits into a global Tyler’s worldview as a logical fragment, which we’ll talk about a bit later.

The real man denies seniors and takes their material benefits away (-/+)

minus The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide  plus The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide  The subject duplicates in the movie twice: through the relationships of the main hero with his chef and in the episode of Tyler’s conflicts with the owner of the tavern, on which basement was the fight club organized. In the first case the main hero overrides his boss, having beaten himself, and exposes as the work of his, as a result he forced to pay the hero, in order to lead away a specific blackmail. Another mentioned episode – the scene with the fight of Tyler and Lou, the owner of the tavern – is very close by implication. The hero, allowing beating himself and showing, that he doesn’t hold on to his life, gets from impressed Lou the needed allowance to continue meetings of the club in the tavern’s basement, held illegally beforehand.

In both episodes non-recognition of a senior person, the corresponding change of a hierarchy and “knocking out” the needed material benefits is being tracked.

The subject of the senior denial itself can imply positive ideas as well, when the human should be put above social, on the deep level all are equal etc., but – it is obvious, there are more negative meanings here. It is given absolutely fair that heroes get psychological victory over a senior for their eccentric revolts and some undeserved benefits from him – money in the case of the main hero and rights to material property in Tyler’s case, i.e. here clearly the positiveness of fraud is being promoted.     

The described is being connected again with the image of masculinity. The righteous, influential man according to the “Fight Club” doesn’t obey to anyone (+/-), has a right to take anything from anyone (-), at that using self-aggression/masochism (-). Strange combination, moreover if judging from the side of forming the worldview of the audience.

The real man actively influences the world he lives in (-/+)

minus The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide  plus The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide

Here is all the same as in most of the previous points – contradictions with the overbalance of negative ideas.

From the one side, by his actions Tyler shows the main hero, that you always can and should influence the world you live in. By giving members of the fight club homework and holding actions in frames of the project “Mayhem”, Tyler tries to transfer his views on the society and start in it processes of desired changes. An example of such scale enthusiasm in impact on the outside world, as the movie demonstrates, definitely, impresses.

However, again the problem in meaningful side of the subject – what exactly Tyler changes? Factually, he simply globally spoils material property of the society, and also without any special sin or profit. Influencing the world, the hero just brings everything to the clueless decay, which appears to him as an ideal:

“In the world I see – you are stalking elk through the damp canyon forests around the ruins of Rockefeller Center. You’ll wear leather clothes that will last you the rest of your life. You’ll climb the wrist-thick kudzu vines that wrap the Sears Tower. And when you look down, you’ll see tiny figures pounding corn, laying strips of venison on the empty car pool lane of some abandoned superhighway.”

You wonder: what he wants to see further, after this so called brighten regress of civilization? If remember the hero’s motto “self-improvement – is onanism”, and self-destruction – is what is needed, to which we will come back later, then the movement towards the ideal world to his viewpoint will keep happening backwards, closer and closer to the cavate life, and the final becoming an amoeba in the end of the way will, probably become an afflatus according to Tyler.

To influence the world, which surrounds you, as described in the film – is undoubtedly necessary. But the changes of the society, which are being done from the side of the “Fight Club” enthusiasts – is a catastrophe and plain vandalism (“Disinformation – Damage – Burning” – is registered on folders with papers in staff of Tyler’s project, and it is written “War” on the door of the staff). Destroying even financial system, no matter how unfair it was, and not foreseeing any replacement/changes, the project “Mayhem” does sheer anarchism.

The real man is responsible for his actions (+)

plus The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide  A rare uniformly positive subject, appearing closer to the end of the story. Norton’s hero, having realized, that Tyler – is his alternative personality, accepts to himself the full responsibility for the actions, made him in Tyler’s incarnation, and is trying to stop the undertaken in an unconsciousness terrorist act.

This subject is additionally being highlighted by the moment in the end of the story, when the main hero realizes, who really “leads” the developments in their tandem with Tyler – he, but not some delusive personality, and mentally embraces from him the gun.

Readiness to take on the responsibility for his actions plays a good role in the evolution of the main hero, positively adding the portrait of the real man in the movie.

The real man destroys himself (-)

minus The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide  Unfortunately, attracting the audience by the row of sound ideas, the “Fight Club” clearly leads to realization of an unhealthy philosophy of self-destruction – that, what Tyler always mentions as a “last line”, which you need to reach and to which under bright claims he steadily leads its bearer, Norton’s hero.

In defense of self-destruction subject in the movie is being allocated the whole “conceptual complex”. These are already mentioned ideas of anti-consumerism, getting practically to promotion of “anti-life” (the denial of all materia without distinction assumes as a result the denial of a body, which is also a materia) + a power usage, raised to absurd cult (p. 4) + a pain trial without any right highest reason (p. 8) + various aesthetization of traumatism (appearance of the main hero, spangled with bruises, cuts etc. is being offered to consider cool and effective). The majority of the film meanings not only lead to a self-destruction philosophy, but, what is not unimportant, very closely tie this to the image of the real man.

As far as self-destruction is not only being entwined to the image of the cool man, but also is the very main picture’s philosophy, here we can move to the next after the images of masculinity global idea of the movie, namely to the depreciation of life.

Depreciated life as a pure value (-)

minus The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide

It is interesting, that at a first glance in the “Fight Club” it is much more noticeable, against what the hero-ideologist Tyler Durden argues, than for what properly. The real values of the cultic character somehow escape the attention, and closer to the focus there are bright protests and destructions. However, to be against something – is the one thing, and to be for something – is totally another. Norton’s hero says the following about his shady personality: “He had a plan. Quite sensible, if looking at everything through the eyes of Tyler – without fear, flurry, to ward off everything that does not have a real value”. What does have this real value from the Tyler’s point of view?

To cut it short, for which values Tyler cares, then it would be – a depreciation of life. Sounds a little bit monumentally, but it is exactly so: the value, for which Tyler consciously fights for, – is to bring his life, the life of others and the meaning of life in principle to a zero value. This subject is, perhaps, the most central one in the movie, its main philosophy, to which the plot is constantly turned. The brightest quotations and moments:

> “Self-improvement is masturbation. Now, self-destruction…!”

> “I think, down with perfection, down with prosperity.[…] It is time to evolve” – the evolution here is being opposed to the perfection, i.e. by contradiction: the evolution = anti-perfection, retrograding.

> “Hey, even the Mona Lisa’s falling apart!” – “nothing lasts forever” as an excuse for self-destruction.

> Tyler: “In defense of Marla – she will go till the end” – till the last line, till the end of self-destruction. “According to her worldview, she could die any moment. The tragedy is, she said, that this has not happened” – as actively self-destructing person, Marla – is a fine fellow, from Tyler’s point of view.  

Norton’s hero: “And I am not?”

Tyler: “Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken” – in other words, you are not enough self-destroyed subject, which is bad.

> Same “in a quality manner” self-destructing Marla tells the main hero “Slide” in his hallucination, i.e. come down, fall – as have been demonstrated by the penguin in the previous dream. The fall – is exactly what is being offered in the movie as a creditable mode of behavior.

> “You should resign, you should admit, without fear that you will die someday. It’s only after we’ve lost everything, that we’re free to do anything” – self-destruction and death = freedom.

> “You’re not your fucking khakis” - a human = biowaste.

> The fact, that all flesh – is just a biowaste, is being supported by Tyler’s creation of soap from human raw material. Also appears a similar short message with the appeal to use dead domestic animals as secondary raw materials.

fight club 13 The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide

> “Listen up, maggots. You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else. All of us – a part of one big dunghill” – depreciation of human’s life, human’s world.

> Tyler after the intentional car accident: “We just had a near-life experience, fellas!” – life – is death.

> «Having died, the member of the project “Mayhem” finds a name» – death as the name, recognition acquiring.

> Norton’s hero: “For chrissake, the goal of the project “Mayhem” – is not an assassination!”

Tyler: “All buildings are empty; our guys are in the security service. We don’t kill, but release”. Explosions of 10 huge buildings, on which furthermore the financial system is tied up, would have killed many people anyhow. In light of this, the mention “not kill, but release” again leads to the equation death = freedom.

> Norton’s hero: «Bob has gone! Shut in the head!”

Tyler: You cannot make an omelette without breaking egg. Again the depreciation of human’s life, specially, if taking into account, that under the cooked omelette it is really assumed the introduction of human’s society into chaos and ruin.

> During support groups attendance the main hero does not sympathize anybody, other grief does not touch him, but he is just interested with the help of it to overcome his problem.

> More than that, images of people in trouble are purposely presented here humbling (Constant mentioning and describing “Bob’s tits”, horrible sex-monologue of dying sick Chloe, loathly men’s weeps, mentioning that the dead in the car accident was fat – his burnt fat is compared to a piece of avant-gardism art etc.) – the film creates a very repellent image of people, who are in trouble, leading the audience to the fact, that nobody of them needs to be empathized. I.e. we see again the depreciation of people’s lives.   

> “On a big time scale the chances of each of us for survival are close to zero” – Norton’s hero reasoning about despair and death.

> “When a plane did a sharp back during the landing or flying-off, I started hoping, that it will fall down, run into the other one and crash”. The main hero dreams about death. An important symbolism of it will be investigated further.   

> “The world will soon take bath” – Tyler’s faith in the near apocalypses – what is later supported by his corresponding actions.

Here are very logically added the radical anti-materialism of Tyler with the promoted by him necessity of pain, which do not hide behind itself, as it has already been said before, no meaningful and high reasons, but instead are easily being explained from the depreciated life’s philosophy point of view. If life costs nothing, then really, why need any materia, including your body, which better burn by chemicals and throw into the crash. The phenomenon of preparations for death in the “Fight Club” is getting much more understandable from the depreciated life viewpoint. According to Tyler’s worldview – from life, with all its materia, one needs to get away into the death, and the more extreme, the better.

It is also very important to mention such moment. From all appearances, the most significant reason for delusive personality appearance – Tyler Durden – was the attraction to death of the main hero.

In the beginning of the movie we see, that Norton’s hero got lost in life, does not understand anything in it, does not understand, who he is (“I thumb through catalogues, wondering: which dinnerware set can characterize my personality?”, “There is no name, who are you? Cornelius? Rupert? Travis? Which one of the stupid invented names?”), and what he should do. We can say, that he does not see the value not only of life, which he has built for himself, but does not see the value of life in general. As the film demonstrates, Norton’s hero – is something like the living dead, who is pleased and touched by practically nothing in life. For the whole narration the most positive emotions and the most interest Norton’s hero shows during communication with Tyler, a nonexistent person.

Before Tyler’s appearance, the main hero colorfully imagines the plane crash of the one, in which he flights – this is what he, a barely alive character, would want for himself. And the emerged Tyler offers the hero the whole attractive philosophy of “passing till the last line”, which inherently presents and realizes this willing of death as something right and necessary. Therefore, the shady personality, Tyler Durden, works out for the main hero as a mechanism of rationalization:

A rationalization – an unconscious mechanism of physiological defense, justifying thoughts, feelings, behavior, which really are unacceptable (for example, wishing of death to oneself). The rationalization works as explanation to oneself one’s own behavior by more appropriate motives (for instance, that a person – is just a biowaste. Simply carry the thrash to the trash bin, that’s all, you have nothing left to do with your life). This helps to keep self-respect, avoid responsibility and guilt. In any rationalization there is at least minimal amount of truth, however, there is more self-deception, that’s why it is dangerous.

Tyler, filling the life of his carrier by uncommon happenings and depreciated life philosophy, is really just colorfully justifies the wish of death of the main hero. Norton’s hero as wanted the plane crash, on which he was flying, so this wish stays after Tyler’s appearance, but only finds bigger scales: “the crash of a personal plane” now just touches more lives, infects through Tyler and his deathly rationalizing philosophy the whole world. The fact that Tyler is something like going out of control virus, is being supported by the question of the policeman addressed to the main hero, does he have an enemy, who could blow up his apartment? Destroying the main hero sub-personality – an enemy-rationalization – is not considered by him as danger.

It is also important, that Tyler not only justifies the unconscious wish of death of the main hero, but factually leads him to it. The final obviously looks controversial: the two heroes are in the same body – and if Norton’s hero had shut himself in a path, which was not deathly for him, then why Tyler died? For this reason it is very likely, that this is a hint for a suicide final for the main hero – the realization of a needed “last line” and the incarnation of a dream about death in reality, which here would have looked more logically, then a “happy end”. Though the happy end purposely positives the central movie philosophy. The look of a winner and final words of the main hero: “Everything’s fine”, “We have met in a strange period of my life” – another time confirm to the audience, which “correct” values the movie creators translate.

fight club 14 The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide

The “Fight Club” presents inherently a very talented made ode to self-destruction. The life of Norton’s hero is like a beautiful burning of a butterfly. Its way of “burning out” is served effective and attractive, under the sauce of enlightenment and masculinity recovery, however really is being demonstrated not the enlightenment and progress of a personality, but its fall under the guise of enlightenment.

fight club 15 The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide

Connecting the two global subjects of the “Fight Club” – 1. the necessity of bringing back the lost masculinity, to reborn from a sissy to a real man and 2. the faith that human’s life does not cost anything, and human’s world – it is just a dunghill – we get an unpromising conclusion, that the movie, at bottom, teaches to become masculine in order to depreciate and destroy one’s own life. Through the corresponding views, various variants of self-destruction, violence and deviations, which further, apparently, should be laid over the real society. Otherwise, why else Hollywood businessmen translate such ideas to the masses in such attractive and talented way?

Capitalism and corporations (-/+)

fight club 16 The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide

minus The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide  plus The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide  In the midst of the movie happenings is given the idea of an unfair formation of the modern society, because of which, as assumed, local men have lost their masculinity:

  • Tyler: “Isee in Fight Club the strongest and smartest men who’ve ever lived. I see all this potential and I see it squandered. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables – slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our great war is a spiritual war. Our great depression is our lives.  We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars, but we won’t. We’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off”;
  • Norton’s hero: “When people will go out in the deep space, they will assign to everything the names of the corporations. Constellation IBM. Galaxy Microsoft. Planet Starbucks”;
  • Consumer, fast materia turnover, characteristic for the capitalism: “Everywhere I go the miniaturized life. One-time portions of sugar, one-time portions of  cream, one-time portions of butter, semi-product “Cordon-blue” for the microwave, mini-sets of shampoo and conditioner, microscopic crèmes, tiny pieces of soap”;
  • One of the main moments, connected to the address of the movie to the modern society disadvantages, – is the company, for which the main hero works. This is how he explains the peculiarities of his work: the number of produced cars is multiplied to the probable portion of cars with defects, the given is multiplied by the cost of the dispatch the problem without a court. If the final result is less, than adaptation expenditures, there will be no return of the car model for adaptation. The hero also mentions, that in his company are used “props for the front seats, which have not passed the trials, brakes, falling out after a thousand miles, and fuel injectors, which are inflaming, and people burn alive”. The clear priority in decision-making in his company is put the financial benefit, but not interests and safety of customers. The typical trait of capitalism society – the profit is all about;
  • An interesting Marla’s monologue on a subject of consumer habits of the society: “I bought this dress for one dollar. The bridesmaid dress. Someone had admired it for the whole day, and then threw it away. Same with Christmas trees. Stand, shine… And, bang, lie about on backyards, gleaming with ribbon spangles. Similar to maniac’s victims”;
  • Tyler’s appeal to Norton’s hero, trying to stop the skyscrapers explosions: “And what do (you) want? To come back to a bitchy job? To watch TV shows in a stinky condo? I disagree” – also partly addresses to the society disadvantages, incl. under the influence of which the main hero had built for himself a fake life.

One way, or another, the gaps of the capitalism society are dotted by the creators of the “Fight Club”, and mostly they are not striving to seriously criticize them, but simply use in their goals. As having three global subjects – 1) devolution of a sissy into a man, 2) depreciation of one’s own life, 3) disadvantages of the capitalism society – the film arranges everything in the following chain:

Disadvantages of the capitalism society –> are the reason of lost men’s masculinity –> after that an appeal to restore or build up the necessary masculinity –> the masculinity during this is appealed to be understood wrongly in many ways (numerous destructive images of the masculinity, described in the first chapter) –> the society disadvantages are left just as problems supposition, the movie does not seriously account on them and obviously is not appealing to correct them –> as a result, after the readiness of 1. pseudo-masculinity and 2. understanding of flawed society as an evil surrounding, taking away the masculinity –> at its fines the depreciated life philosophy appears –> and it is all ends by the call to use this philosophy on practice, supporting one’s actions by pseudo-masculinity and the perception of the flawed social order as an evil, which one needs not to correct, but to break –> if all used in practice – “game over”, the life, as not having any values ends in two scales: the life of a personality; the life of a society (since the society – is the sum of personalities).

By this meanings structure is clearly seen, that the “Fight Club” simply uses the present society flaws as a starting point and realistic excuse for the destructive philosophy of depreciated life and self-destruction into masses promotion. This is being proved out by the fact, that variously imperfect car corporation, where the main hero works, as a result sponsors his destructive activity in the society. I.e. the society disadvantages are just getting their continuation thanks for the main heroes. It is hard to take seriously superficial critics of the corporations, imposing people unreflecting consumerism, in sight of the hidden product placement in the “Fight Club”, which has already been detailed mentioned in the first chapter.

Dispatches to Satanism (-)

fight club 17 The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide

minus The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide

It is hard to overlook some dispatches to Satanism in the “Fight Club”. It can be fairly judged, that the “Fight Club” – the distinctively anti-religious and anti-Christian film. As have already seen from the above, the history colorfully replaces white by the black, and in the same way replaces God by the Devil. The corresponding moments and quotations:

  • properly, the central idea of the movie – a depreciated life already implies Satanists values. The life – is nothing, a person – is a biowaste, blast it all, the universe, by flare.
  • Tyler promoting peanuts of human’s life, is practicing a kiss-burnt, which places to his followers on a hand. This extremely reminds of so-called stamp or mark of an animal. These results that the members of the huge movement, making destructions of God’s creation – human and human’s world, all have a specific mark, which additionally highlights their faith in self-destruction as a freedom. This as well has a Satanists cast.
  • The fight club is compared to a church. “Hysterical shouts on unknown languages, as in the church of Pentecostals”, “Rickey graded up to God, when have been giving a drubbing to a headwaiter from the local café”, “The fighting was over, the questions have been left unresolved, but nothing already mattered. After the fighting we felt, that we found salvation”. A salvation – is one of the Christian concepts. The salvation in the Christianity is found in God, in the fight club yet the salvation happens to be found not in God, but in self-destruction, masochism, self-aggression.
  • after getting the task from Tyler to fight on the street, one of the members of the club fights with a parson, throws the Bible, which he was carrying, on the ground and pours it with water.

fight club 18 The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide  fight club 19 The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide  fight club 20 The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide

Further the mentioned parson appears to be already a member of the fight club and the project “Mayhem”, gleaming in the crowd, what kinda should imply, on which side the spirituality stands – on Tyler’s side with his demonic values.

fight club 21 The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide  fight club 22 The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide

  • the first volunteer to the “Mayhem” project shaves his head in the bath in front of the candle with an icon, which is shown at a glance.

fight club 23 The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide

  • Tyler preaches: “Each imagined his father God, but he left you. Admit that God does not need you. Most likely, he had not wanted you. It seems, that he hates you, and this is not the deadliest in life”, “We don’t need him (God). Whatever hell or paradise”, “We are unwanted God’s children, so be it!”.
  • Tyler would want to fight with his father (the father like a God, a subject of theomachy).
  • Norton’s hero would want to fight with Gandhi – with a spiritual agent.
  • Norton’s hero says: “In Tyler we trust” – a modified phrase “In God we trust”. I.e. Tyler, preaching demonic values, is becoming a new god for the local people.
  • Tyler is practicing specific “human sacrifices” (in the movie is used exactly this term).

fight club 241 The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide

There is being demonstrated an episode with Tyler’s threatening of a person, who had not finished vet studies and trades in a store. The hero threatens him with death, if he during a week won’t continue the studies. By practicing such “sacrifices”, the hero plays in God and breaks the principle of free will of a person.

Insider information (-)

minus The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide  The final episode of the picture with skyscrapers’ explosion is so much alike with the 9/11 terrorist act, happened two years after, that can be treated as so-called pumping the future matrix.

fight club 25 The movie “Fight Club” (1999): Be courageous to suicide

From the technical point of view the film “Fight Club” is made artistically. Thanks for the dynamics, good direction, original operator’s decisions, picturesque of characters and talented acting of Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham-Carter the story catches attention and leaves emotionally big impression. However, from the point of view of most laid meanings – the “Fight Club” is a heatless dish. There are, of course, some really positive ideas, but the gorge of numerous destructive, including central, connected to depreciation of life, creates the situation, when you need to ferret out edible leavings in a trash container, which at that veiled under the richly laid table. Is it worth it? For a person, not willing to clutter up one’s head with unnecessary, harmful images – obviously, not.



many episodes of smoking and drinking alcohol. In the beginning of a story the main hero does not smoke, but as the time goes by, gets this addiction. There aestheticization of smoking and drinking alcohol takes place


the movie promotes the idea, that a man, not being a horney, can not be considered real. It contains several porn-cadres and a row of scenes, one way or another connected with sex (short sex scenes of a moderate frankness, sounds of orgasms, sex mentions, a dildo picture etc.).


dozens of fights, uglification of a person, application of a burn by a chemical agent, picturing a shoot off head with ensuing contents, a vast aestheticization of violence and injuring.


  • The movie addresses to men-audience with an appeal to restore or gain masculinity, but adds to the image of true man many negative traits, many times outweighing positive (from the unambiguously positive – the importance of activity and responsibility. From negative, most of which are purposely concealed under positive, – anti-materialism extremes: destruction of all materia without distinction down to one’s own body and at the same time interest in advertised products in the film and image of the central character/ necessity of mind usage, but on the destructive goals/ necessity of usage one’s own strength, but laid up into an insane cult/ sabotage of a service industry with the further consumption/ surrounding yourself with fictive like-minded people, “loneliness in a crowd”/ aspiration to sexual relationships just for the sake of being considered a man/ aspiration to any pain, in order to be considered a man/ breakdown of hierarchical social relationships and positiveness of fraud/ aspiration to influence the world anyhow, even the most destructive way/ aspiration to self-destruction);
  • As the main goal of reached (pseudo-)masculinity usage the movie offers a depreciation of one’s own life and a life of a society on practice, i.e. self-destruction and destructive influence on the society;
  • the movie partly criticizes capitalism and corporations, implying consumption, and presents them the culprits of lost masculinity of modern men. The picture does not offer any ways, apart from returning of one’s own masculinity to destroy oneself together with unfair social events after;
  • through the row of symbols and moments Satanists views are being promoted; images of the film with buildings explosions can be compared to “pumping the future matrix” (9/11 terrorist act).

For already “infected” with this informational product we offer to reconsider your attitude towards the plot of the “Fight Club”, as to an example of influence on a person of its destructive ideals and suppressed problems.

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For better understanding of a subject of ideals also recommend to see the movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, which main hero, as Norton’s hero from the “Fight Club” is caught by the illusions – just not negative (plane crash, alternative personality, rationalizing the willing of death), but positive (imagine oneself as a superhero). The movie similarly pictures as ideals and fantasies, which a person broods, as a result are being reflected on his life. Seed a wish (ideal) – harvest an action, seed an action – harvest a character, seed a character – harvest a fate.

 Eugenia Kumryakova

Translated by Daria Egorova

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