Fight Club Analysis Essay

This essay has a total of 1251 words and 5 pages.

Fight Club Analysis

"REJECT THE BASIC ASSUMPTION OF CIVILIZATION, ESPECIALLY THE IMPORTANCE OF MATERIAL POSESSIONS"

Analysis of "Fight Club"
By: Matt Martin

For years David Fincher has directed some of the most stylish and creative thrillers in
American movies. His works include: Aliens 3, Seven, The Game and Fight Club. Each of
these films has been not only pleasing and fun to watch but each has commented on society,
making the viewers think outside the normal and analyze their world. Fight Club is no
exception, it is a multi-layered film with many subplots and themes, but primarily it is a
surrealistic description of the status of the American male at the end of the 20th
century. David Flincher's movie, Fight Club, shows how consumerism has caused the
emasculation of the modern male and tells a tale of liberation from a corporate controlled
society.

In the movie Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) comments on the new way of life, "We are products of
lifestyle obsession. Murder, crime, poverty do not concern me. What concerns me are
celebrity magazines, television with five hundred cannels and a designer name on my
underwear." The film, Fight Club shows the consumer culture in which the 20th century male
lives in and how it is a deconstruction of individuality. The film gives many examples of
this; the main character of the film (Ed Norton) asks while looking through an IKEA
catalog, "What kind of plates define me as a person." He's not asking what personal
characteristics and attributes define him but what possession most accurately does. Also,
Ed Norton's character has no name he is only referred to as the 90's everyman, the IKEA
man. The film shows the extensive emphases the consumer-based culture of the 20th century
has on individualism and values associated with being a man. Corporations have replaced
personal qualities with corporate logos. The modern male cannot be anything unless he has
certain products in his possession. No longer does one own things, his things own him. The
contemporary male is a slave of the IKEA nesting instinct. The main characters absence of
a name only exemplifies this; the buying of furniture from IKEA gives the main character
(Ed Norton) his identity, without being a consumer the main character would remain
undefined and anonymous. In the movie, the two main characters, (Ed Norton) and Tyler
Durden (Brad Pitt), are staring at a Calvin Klein ad and ask each other is this what a man
is supposed to look like. Fight Club shows the extent of consumerism controlling life. The
consumer culture even defines how the modern male should look and how he should wish to
look. The corporate ownership of the male extends to how much his life is worth. Ed Norton
works in a claims department for a large car manufacture. His job is to decide what a
manufacture does in case of a design flaw. Take for example, if a carburetor runs a risk
of exploding after 100,000 miles; ED Norton's job is to investigate the probability of
this happening. Then take the number of vehicles on the road and multiply them it by the
probable rate of failure and multiply the product again with average price of an out of
court settlement. If the end result is less than the cost of a recall, there is no recall.

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