Fight Club

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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One might ask themselves, what is the point of all of this? Why is Tyler Durden engaging in all these different criminal activities? Why does he create a club made specially for fighting? Why does he create a project to destruct everything in society? As stupid as all of this may sound, Tyler and his army have a reason for all this. They believe there needs to be an end to all consumerism and the materialistic world, in order for everyone to achieve ultimate happiness.

After the narrator discovers Tyler, he sets off for an important business trip. When he returns to his ever so precious condominium, which contains all of his cherished furniture and high-end clothing, he finds out that everything had been destroyed in an explosion. He is told the cause of the explosion is unknown, and none of his dear personal possessions are left. But the narrator soon finds out that Tyler was the one who caused the explosion.

His criminal act foreshadows what he later enlightens the narrator and his army about.

"A lot of young people try to impress the world and buy too many things," the doorman says, as he is told to stay out of the condo unit and find a place to stay. He goes on by saying, "A lot of young people don't know what they really want…Young people, they think they want the whole world…If you don't know what you want, you end up with a lot you don't." The doorman's words of wisdom refer to the current problems facing modern society in regards to our obsession with materialism. Tyler Durden later tells the narrator that this is a problem that he is most concerned with. This is a problem in which he believes each person in society should become enlightened to, and work on changing, by letting go of their materialistic approach to life.

When the narrator tells Tyler about what happened, he tells him it's a good thing that all of the junk is gone, and he's much better off without all that stuff anyways. We soon find that Tyler is the one who causes the explosion at the narrator's condominium because he wants him to free himself of all the materialistic objects that distracts him.

"You buy furniture. You tell yourself this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life. Buy the sofa, then for a couple of years you're satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you've got your sofa issue handled. Then the right set of dishes. Then the perfect bed. The drapes. The rug. Then you are trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you," Tyler explains.

What Tyler means by the above statement is that people in modern society have become so consumed with what they own and what they don't own (but wish they did), that they have lost track of what is really important in life. Consumerism has become an obsession for people today. They don't realize that objects do not bring eternal happiness, and you leave everything behind when you die. Tyler is trying to explain to the narrator that he is giving him great advice and is convincing him that he is now free of all the distractions he has gathered up. He can now focus on himself, and what is really important in his life.

After Tyler's creation of Fight Club, he moves up to Project Mayhem. This is a higher degree of the club, in which members are assigned tasks such as starting a fight with a stranger and letting the stranger win. Tyler has now created a cult way of thinking, to bring all the members residing in the house to the same degree of enlightenment. He trains them to think and feel the same way, as well as work toward one common goal. They begin to engage in acts of vandalism throughout the city, trying to deliver a message of defiance to society. They want to show that they no longer care about the rules and distractions, and now live by their own set of rules.

The narrator soon begins to realize what Tyler is trying to accomplish through Project Mayhem. He grasps the idea that Tyler's ultimate goal is to destroy everything in society, and go back to the ancient times when the world had not yet discovered technology, money, and materialistic possessions were not important in life. The only things that truly are important and valued are, food, water, clothing, and a place to live. Tyler explains, "It's Project Mayhem that is going to save the world. A cultural ice age. A prematurely induced dark age. Project Mayhem will free humanity to go dormant or into remission long enough for the Earth to recover. Imagine…stalking elk past department store windows and stinking racks of beautiful rotting dresses and tuxedos…you'll wear leather clothes that will last you the rest of your life…you'll climb up through the dripping forest canopy and the air will be so clean you'll see tiny figures pounding corn and laying strips of venison in the empty car pool lane of an abandoned superhighway…" Tyler is stating that going back to the hunter-gatherer society is the only solution to all of life's problems. He implies that in modern society, men cannot act the way nature has created them to act. Men cannot hunt, gather, live without rules, be free, and he says this is what men subconsciously look for.

The narrator comes to realize that he is Tyler Durden. Tyler is everything that he wants to be, but isn't. The only person that can accomplish what the narrator really wants to change about society is Tyler. Tyler Durden is a complete dream.

Tyler goes on to tell him that he has created a project to blow up all the important financial buildings in North America. He explains that the reason he is doing this is because he wants everyone's debt record to be erased, so that everyone can start from scratch. The narrator is completely against Tyler's plan, and finds out it is too late to stop it. He believes the only way he can fix the problem is to get rid of Tyler Durden. He eventually shoots himself, not knowing that if he kills Tyler, he's killing himself as well. He dies, and sits in heaven discussing with God what he has done.

Consumerism is a very important theme in Fight Club. As society becomes more and more materialistic and consumer-driven, people find themselves more and more distracted and alone with their possessions, rather than with others. The author of Fight Club is suggesting that the answer to the problems of modern culture might be to let go of all the materialism and greed, and go back to the old days, when everything was simple, and the only things that were needed were for survival. The people of modern society have to understand that the only thing that matters, and that we live for, is happiness.