Fight Club - Reading Between the Lines
Uploaded by BradleyHarris on Nov 07, 2003
In 1996 Chuck Palahniuk wrote a book called Fight Club. In 1999 David Fincher turned it into a major motion picture. Tyler Durden; in Tyler we trust. The first time Tyler met the Narrator he told him “A person had to work hard for it, but a minute of perfection was worth the effort. A moment was the most you could ever expect from perfection.”
The Narrator or “Jack” never had an actual name. Chuck Palahniuk never gave him a name because he didn’t feel that he needed one. “Jack” represents an entire piece of society “Generation X” the average working class. “Jack” was never given a name because society no longer recognises Mr. Average Nobody. But, Tyler Durden wasn’t the average nobody. He didn’t exist, true. But, he took an empty shell of a man and turned him into a person who was respected, someone with power. “Jack” says himself on page 174 “I love everything about Tyler Durden, his courage and his smarts. His nerve. Tyler is funny and charming and independent, and men look up to him and expect him to change their world. Tyler is capable and free, and I am not.” This tells us that Tyler is everything the Narrator isn’t. Tyler is the Narrator’s ideal view of what a man should be like, what he should be like.
The first time Tyler and “Jack” meet in the film is on the plane. Tyler is seated next to the Emergency Exit door reading the safety card, which tells him “If you feel you are unable or unwilling to perform this procedure please ask the flight attendant to reseat you.” the Narrator tells Tyler “It’s a lot of responsibility” Tyler asks “Jack” if he wants to switch seats to which “Jack” respond “No, I don’t think I’m the man for that particular job.” What the Narrator doesn’t realise is that Tyler isn’t talking about the Emergency Exit door, he’s giving “Jack” his final opportunity to opt out of the situation. But “Jack” says he doesn’t want that responsibility, Tyler can have it, and in that moment, his fate is sealed.
Deep down, somewhere buried in his subconscious, “Jack” always knew that Tyler wasn’t real, and, although “Jack” created Tyler, Tyler is like a cancer. “Jack” even says so himself on page 106 “The cancer I don’t have is everywhere now. I don’t tell Marla that. There are...