REFLECTION Both the author, Palahniuk and the director have said that the story of Fight Club reflects and explores real men’s lives today. Palahniuk said he wrote hi book ‘in public’ by talking to real men in diners, bars, coffee shops and their work places. Fincher said that the unnamed narrator is “an everyman. Every young man”
Fight Club and collective identity 3 principle examples of the modern man’s confusion over masculine roles and what being a ‘man’ actually means:
First example: the life of the narrator pre- Fight Club Based on an illusion of materialist accumulation and career hierarchy. But he is in limbo. The pursuits of these false goals= no male friends, no sexual partner in the ‘nest’ apartment, no physically demanding work or action-based solution to problems. No libido: “we used to read pornography; now we read the IKEA catalogue”. Sees himself through his meaningless possessions- “a refrigerator full of designer condiments and no food”. He is emasculated by pursuit of consumerism
Second example: The ‘Remaining Men Together: testicular cancer group’ This group is compromised of men who have attempted to conform to traditional roles, but who have failed. They have been emasculated by castration First speaker- talks of ambition to be a father, a goal he will never achieve; the ultimate insult is that wife has abandoned him and procreated with another man. Bob- pathetic and grotesquely breasted. His attempt to attain a traditional male image, the Muscle Man has resulted in the exact opposite and becoming feminised.
Third example: the group of men in Fight Club Supposed to be the ‘solution’ to the problems of confused masculinity. But it eventually turns into another form of the same confusion: the neo-fascist-anarchist ‘Project Mayhem’. This form of ‘male fundamentalism’ is, ultimately as empty as the other male roles it reacts against.