A failure at the box office, but subsequently dispersed into quotes and aphorisms, “Fight Club” is filled with postmodern overtones. Deep meaning and criticism of capitalism are combined with a beautiful picture and product placement. Nonsense and mockery of the viewer.
“Fight Club” follows the general trend of protest films of the 90s. In it, as in many other films of the late 20th century, the main message is that having a high-paying job, living in an elite condo on the top floor, dating long-legged beauties, or living in a big house with a family is simply awful. American Beauty, Fight Club, The Matrix, Route 60, all of these films are in this mood.
It is a mistake to think that Tyler Durden is an anarchist. He is a transhumanist!
The meaning of “Fight Club” will help to reveal the books of Fromm, Adorno, Marcuse, Horkheimer and other philosophers of the transhumanist persuasion. Actually, what the scientists of the Frankfurt School of sociology condemned found its embodiment in the painting by David Fincher. Briefly, it can be expressed in the following sentences:
- We are products of the consumer society.
- Culture is replaced by the cultural industry with simple, stereotyped symbols and images.
- Our uniqueness is formed by products and brands.
- And our knowledge is fragmentary and piecewise, like a patchwork quilt.
- Our needs inflate like a bubble, but one day it is destined to burst.
We are “one-dimensional people,” as the philosopher Marcuse would put it. This is the main point of Fight Club.
Philosophy of Tyler Durden
In each of us lives a rebel, an interesting and truly extraordinary personality. Think about how the life of the nameless narrator has changed, becoming Tyler and giving up all the blessings of life. He became a real leader, creating an incredibly complex organization with a clear hierarchy and a plan to destroy the financial system. Could a person who is dependent on brands and new products, does not miss a single “worthwhile” series and understands every detail about brands of cars or watches, create such a complex system? The answer is negative.
If you look at popular queries in search engines related to Tyler Durden, you can see an interesting trend. A lot of people are looking for glasses, pants, a jacket that the eccentric hero of the film wore. This goes completely against what Tyler was really trying to convey.
The philosophy of Tyler Durden is simple, but like many simple things, for the time being, we do not understand. The whole meaning of the speeches of one of the main characters of the “Fight Club” can be expressed in the following phrase:
Who are we? We are simply consumers obsessed with the external trappings of prosperity. War, famine, violence – all this does not bother. What worries me: celebrities and scandals, a TV with 500 channels and whose name is on the tag of my panties.
Kiss Tyler Durden
What is the meaning of the kiss in the movie “Fight Club”? The chemical burn in Fight Club is a young fighter course for the storyteller. So Tyler Durden introduced him to reality. After such therapy, it becomes clear that it is foolish to count on life outside of this reality, that there are no miracles, that the world is not a commercial, where everything is clean and beautiful, and people just burn with hospitality. The world is a place where, in addition to good moments, there are terrible ones, and you need to put up with them, accept them as an integral part of being. The kissing scene can be interpreted through the book of the French philosopher Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus. The narrator and Tyler, like Sisyphus, deny the influence of God on their lives, placing themselves, the man, as the main source of meaning for their lives in this absurd world.
What is the movie “Fight Club” about?
According to the plot, an insurance agent has a high salary, he can furnish an apartment with taste, but all this does not give him pleasure. He starts looking for some kind of adventure. It all started with the fact that there was pressure on insurance agents, since many insured events occur due to the fault of the hero’s company, because of such stress, he gets insomnia, the condition worsens and the employee cannot keep the situation under control.
The doctor advises to look at those people who are truly unhappy and understand that in fact everything is fine with him. Thus, he finds himself among people who are much worse off. He briefly feels a surge of strength, he understands that he has stability, he has a circle of friends, he does not miss a single meeting and becomes even more weak-willed. Consequently, his insomnia continues. However, on the plane, he meets a real interlocutor who is handsome, cheerful, energetic, women like him.
Tyler is a rebel and the exact opposite of the main character. However, when the main character notices a young woman he likes, he realizes that he does not know how to communicate with her. After he has an explosion in his apartment, he goes to live with his new acquaintance from the plane. At a certain point after dinner at the bar, they start to playfully fight, but another event occurs. A girl from Marlo’s anonymous group accidentally calls Tyler, who, after listening to the girl’s story, saves her and starts an affair with her.
However, the Fight Club begins to replenish with new members, fights take place regularly. In the course of the film, it becomes clear that it is Tyler who helps to carry out his plans, realize his dreams, he helps to express the protest of consumers, to create a fight club for free men. He also plans a rout scheme and decides to sleep with Marla.
“Fight Club” plot explained
We, like the hero of the film – the narrator, also do not have a name for transnational companies. We are consumers, a set of features, parameters that they analyze. We are targeted with advertising to sell more products and provide more services. Images are imposed on us, and the necessary equipment is added to this image. Basketball players wear Nike, respectable men wear Rolex watches, and women use Kenzo. Targeted advertising has already become the main source of income for large search engines such as Yandex or Google. And it doesn’t matter if our name is Jack, Masha or Abraham. The main thing is to create a need or warm up a weak ember of an already born desire.
The formation of personality according to Freud
The formation of personality according to Freud in the film is quite simple to consider. The relationship between Marla and Tyler makes the narrator uncomfortable, he experiences an infantile feeling of jealousy, but the jealousy of a child.
He subconsciously feels the relationship between Tyler and Marla, like the relationship of his mother and father. Since Tyler is a product of the mind of the narrator, then, in fact, the inner child is jealous, because a pronounced masculine part takes his place next to Marla. Tyler’s feelings here are the feelings of a child who is jealous of his mother for his father.
Absolutely Freudian understanding of the processes of the human soul. Having killed the aggressive masculine in himself with one shot in his own mouth, the main character becomes whole, and his relationship with Marla is finally healthy.
Criticism of the consumer society
The plan to criticize the consumer society is the first thing that catches the eye, because the characters constantly talk about it. The slogan of the film itself is a Buddhist postulate. “Only by losing everything to the end do we gain freedom”
Endless attempts to move up the career ladder, surround yourself with things and try to find happiness in them, is a disease of society.
Tyler fights this “disease” in the most primitive way – violence, the destruction of material goods, their substitution (soap from human fat sold to people from which this fat is taken).
The end of the film with falling skyscrapers is the only metaphor in the film, a metaphor for the collapse of the economy. The economy, which began to dominate all spheres, penetrating even into spirituality, is presented in the form of a cancerous tumor.
“Fight Club” hidden meaning
Everyone remembers the first rule of Fight Club: don’t mention Fight Club. But what rules does its founder, Tyler Durden, live by? And why was this club created? Let’s take a look at how this film criticizes the consumer society and why aggression is natural for a person.
The man with no name
The film is narrated in the first person: the main character is the narrator. But at the same time, we know almost nothing about him – not even his name.
He refers to himself as “Jack’s acute sense of aloofness”, “Jack’s colon”, “Jack’s grinning revenge”, but it is unknown who Jack is or if that is the name of the hero.
In fact, he has no name, no special features – only collective: he belongs to the “generation of men raised by women”, tries to be productive, cares endlessly about his condominium, firmly believing that an Ikea service can reflect personality person.
He lives in an ordinary city and works for a “big company” whose name is also unknown. There are no personal details about the main character in the film, so many people recognize themselves in it. This collective image is the hero of our time, one of millions.
One dimensional man
The narrator is a representative of the consumer society. As his alter ego Tyler says, “People are slaves to their things,” they are the walking dead. Work, money, wallet, clothes – people hide behind all this, and their real ones are no longer visible.
The consumer society creates false values and imposes them on a person, making him forget about true needs. Because of this, people
become, in fact, the same.
One of the most famous critiques of the consumer society is The One-Dimensional Man by the Frankfurt School philosopher and sociologist Herbert Marcuse. He says that instead of choice in a consumer society, there is only the illusion of choice, because it has already been decided for us what we want. Take, for example, the furniture catalogs mentioned in the film. It seems that we ourselves choose tables and sofas, but, in essence, we buy what we see in advertising.
We buy things not because we really want it, but because everyone wants it.
But if you are what you consume, then who are you without these sets, sofas and green upholstery?
To return to genuine desires, Marcuse offers the only possible way out – the “great rejection” of endless consumption
and momentary pleasures. Tyler also talks about this: “Only when we lose everything to the end, we gain freedom.” Marcuse insists that man should return to harmony with nature, instead of trying to exploit her. But what awaits a person when he turns to his nature?
Austrian biologist and Nobel laureate Konrad Lorenz considered aggression an integral part of human life. Why did it happen? According to Lorenz, predators have a “killer instinct”: killing is easy for them, because they have sharp fangs, claws, etc.
Therefore, they have developed a mechanism that, in order to preserve the species, does not allow them to show intraspecific aggression: otherwise they would become kill each other too.
Primates, for example, do not have such a mechanism, because they cannot inflict serious injuries, which means that there is no need to block aggression. Humans inherited this aggression from primates. But, despite the fact that it is difficult for a person to kill another person with his bare hands, he was able to create for this weapon, because he does not have any natural factors that would restrain his aggression.
Therefore, as Lorenz notes, man is the only mass murderer. Now we mostly show aggression rather passively, constantly competing and finding out who is stronger. In fact, for us culture and law have become deterrents . Lorenz also talked about how aggression can be directed in another direction: in the film, for example, the support groups where the narrator goes.
Tyler is against it. He believes that culture binds us, because of it we are no longer able to show our true nature and aggressiveness.
So when he gives his followers the task of fighting in the street, for them it is difficult. Tyler encourages them to get out of the box: “You don’t know yourself if you’ve never been in a fight.” This is how Fight Club is born.
The house that Jack’s hands built
“Fight Club” is made up of quotes, references, and brand names that recreate a specific context. Think, for example, of the Starbucks glasses constantly flashing in the frame, and the lingerie brands that Tyler and the narrator are discussing. Or how Tyler references the movie Forrest Gump by yelling at a gas station attendant, ” Run, Forrest, run!”
This technique in philosophy is called intertext. It serves to make what is happening acquire additional meaning. So, a short phrase turns out to be multi-layered and contains much more than it might seem. Each quote has its own context, which, as it were, expands the meaning of a particular sign.
This is how the familiar space with familiar IKEA furniture is built. Gradually, this space is destroyed, but instead of the old system, the hero builds a new one. It replaces civilization with aggression, but the participants in Project Mayhem (the successor to the Fight Club) are still not free.
“Fight Club” movie analysis
The film is rich in special ideas, meaning, if you decipher the plot, it becomes clear why the film has become a cult for its time. He reflected fractures, crises, contradictions, it turns out that the goal is self-destruction, the men of this time were raised by women. The main plot twist is that the two main characters are the same person. The hero, who suffers from the blues and realization, begins to attend a meeting of ill men out of stress, he understands that a certain stage begins with this trait. He understands that it is the middle class that is starting the rebellion.
When the narrator begins to live with Tyler, a fight club gradually forms, in fact it turns out that Tyler is not a separate person, this is the ego of the narrator himself, this is his ideal. Marlo plays a big role in the story, he meets the narrator at anonymous meetings, they meet each other. According to the doctors, the main character had to be present at the meetings in order to feel the pain of other people. Some imply that Marla is the third personality of the narrator himself.
In fact, this is the alter ego of the hero, Tyler only cared about himself, but he understands that if the narrator disappears now, then he himself will die. Tyler is the strongest personality of the storyteller, in principle, the fight club adheres to all the trends that were characteristic of the films of the nineties. The main message is the importance of the fact that a person should have a well-paid job, live in an elite house, meet beauties or live in a big house with a family. However, in this way, people turned into ordinary consumer products.
“Fight Club” ending explained
The ending of the film caused the most questions from the audience of the film. Palahniuk himself admitted that he liked Fincher’s ending more than his own. Let’s figure it out. The narrator realizes that he and Tyler are the same person. Durden is just imagination, except for one thing. Pistol. Like the fists of the narrator who stabbed himself in his boss’s office, the weapons are just as real. Getting rid of Tyler simply by realizing the fact is not enough, you need a powerful emotional outburst, something out of the pattern, something out of the brain. The way out was simple. Shoot yourself in the cheek while pretending to kill Tyler. The plan is adventurous, but judging by the ending of the film – effective.
In the book, the narrator goes to heaven, where he meets all the same “monkeys in space”, following the mission of Tyler Durden. This ending of the book “Fight Club” can be interpreted from two points of view. On the one hand, the narrator really ends up in heaven, in which he did not believe, and on the other hand, he ends up in a psychiatric hospital.
Such an open ending raises the question, is there really any sense in the ravings of a madman, or is it just a mockery of Chuck Palahniuk and David Fincher over their reader?
The meaning of the ending of the film “Fight Club” is the gradual liberation of the narrator from the shackles, imaginary and real. By the end of the story, the hero concentrates on his own person. The development of events leads to the fact that Tyler himself becomes the main opponent of the narrator. It is necessary to get rid of the enemy in the most cruel way.
At the discretion of the viewer
The meaning of the film “Fight Club” – the search for a way out of the crisis. Even if the characters are, the events of the film are the fruit of the sick imagination of the narrator. According to one version, the director introduces Marla, members of the club, as fictional characters. At some point, the creator of the film questions the existence of the club as an organization, its network in the cities. But categorically does not deny their absence.
During these years, a number of films were made with the intention of protesting the existing consumer society. The ending of the film “Fight Club” conveys the completion of change through the buildings collapsing outside the window. The hero did everything he could. Not alone. With the help of an imaginary friend, mentor. What is the meaning of the movie “Fight Club” is easy to understand after a careful viewing.
“Fight Club” explained by director
According to Fincher, his film is not intended for any kind of propaganda – neither philosophical nor political. Also, the film is not an indication of ways to get rid of the shortcomings of modern society. His picture is only one of the visions of what globalization can lead to.
In addition, the hero in the movie eventually loses touch with Tyler completely, getting rid of him in a radical way. It is a symbol of victory over animal instincts.
The picture is still widely discussed today. Critics for the most part agree on one opinion – a significant part of the film depicts the protest of individuals against the values imposed on him by society.