Fight Club: The Inner Journey

Essay by nguyentechHigh School, 12th grade June 2004

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Directed by David Fincher, Fight Club is a controversial, nihilistic film, delving into the values and beliefs of society. The main character, Jack, reverses his perspective of life upon encountering a man named Tyler Durden. Tyler's alternate beliefs persuade Jack to change his ideas about himself, people and the values and beliefs society has emplaced upon them. Through these changes in perception accompanied by the appropriate use of aural and visual techniques, the inner journey is explored.

One of these values societies have emplaced upon us is that a person is merely his own wealth and material possessions. This behaviour of materialism is a crucial aspect of Fight Club. At the beginning of the movie, Jack's apartment is displayed like a page in a furniture catalogue, complete with text blurbs superimposed on the screen showing the horrendous prices of the furniture. He states, "The condo was my life; it wasn't just material possessions, it was me!" Jack grossly judged himself on his wealth and possessions.

Tyler Durden is the absolute figure against commercialism and materialism. Upon discovering him, Jack learns to believe his philosophy which can be understood through Tyler's dialogue, he states satirically, "Murder, crime, poverty - these things don't concern me. What concerns me is celebrity magazines, television with five hundred channels, some guy's name on my underwear." Jack's inner journey begins to evolve from this point on.

It is ironic and symbolic that Tyler sells expensive soap made of discarded fat from liposuction clinics, in Tyler's words: "We are selling their own fat asses back to them". This is a good illustration of materialism gone wrong. This issue is compounded in another scene, where Tyler is the solitary figure explaining, "You are not your job, you are not how much money you have in the...