Fight Club & Masculinity

2509 words 11 pages
Critical Essay on Fight Club
Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club is the story of a man struggling to find himself. The main character, a nameless narrator, is clearly unhappy with his life. He obsessively fakes diseases and attends support group sessions as a way to deal with his hopelessness. Obsessive behaviors often lead to unfavorable events if they are interrupted (Lizardo). Just as it seems the support groups have brought him to a form of equilibrium, they are interrupted by a fellow faker. His inability to treat his restlessness by attending these support groups drives the narrator to shocking extremes. As the text continues, it becomes obvious that the narrator’s true struggle lies within his efforts to find a form of
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He immediately establishes the “Be a Big Wheel” theme of masculinity in order to preserve his spot at the support group. “Her arms squeezed tight against her sides, and my lips pressed against her ear, I’ll say, Marla, you big fake, you get out.” “The next time we meet, I’ll say, Marla, I can’t sleep with you here. I need this. Get out.” The narrator is trying to exert his dominance and power over Marla in order to obtain his right to be at Remaining Men Together. As the novel moves on, the narrator is very discouraged and begins to suffer from his insomnia once again. The “Be a Big Wheel” theme states that men who are unable to achieve the “Big Wheel” status are often left feeling powerless and discouraged (Kahn). This would hold true for the narrator. His inability to stop Marla from attending the support groups leads to negotiations that ultimately do not satisfy his need for relief. He is forced to find another way to treat his insomnia. Just as all hope seems lost, the narrator meets Tyler Durden and asks him to “deliver him from being perfect and complete” (Palahniuk). At first, Tyler and his philosophies help the narrator find another release for his suffering. Together they invent Fight Club. During this period of the book, the narrator begins


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