Fight Club and the Idea of Nonsensical Life
Fight Club and the Idea of Nonsensical Life
In our dynamic and busy society, every one is prone to suffer some psychological problems from its faintest symptoms to the most severe effect to the human mind. This trouble occurs because our society can not satisfy our mental capabilities. This shows that even if the human mind is regarded as the most important and most reliable machine in the universe, there is still the possibility that it cannot handle every inch of information fed into it, which unfortunately draws back with negative effects in our social and psychological nature.
The psychological problems are somewhat manifested in the actions of people in our everyday activities which includes social interaction, eating, walking, sleeping, and others. The body, together with our mind is our ultimate weapon to all problems that attacks us in every minute of every day, thus it is important to take care of our body and mind to ensure a smooth flow of social and psychological functions One of the most common problems that people around the world experience that has something to do with the psychological nature and has an effect in the social realm is the presence of insomnia.
This is a physiological and psychological problem that makes a person stay awake for hours in the night and could lead to depression, anxiety, and other psychological and social problems if not being taken cared of. This could be seen in situations of stress and other social factors such as boredom and heavily depressing situations that makes the mind of an individual relatively awake at night, and affects many aspects of its life including his/her career, social life and interaction, leisure, and even the family. This is illustrated in Chuck Palahniuk’s novel “Fight Club”.
Wherein, the main character or the narrator suffers from insomnia and eventually led him to other directions of life that changed the course of his whole nature and realm forever. “I want to a good night’s sleep. I want to get up without feeling that to waken is to plunge through a trap door”(40). This poem line shows us that many people experience problems of insomnia, which have a different effect on every body based on the interpretation and diagnosis from the persons history and psychological disposition. So why do people suffer from insomnia and psychological problem?
One of the main reasons, I think is that, most people who go through is have a feeling that their lives were senseless or vain. This also makes it easier to understand that people who suffer any psychological problem have the tendency to overreact and unfortunately lead themselves to death. Their idea of a good life is being overrun by anxiety and senseless assumptions that makes them think that their actions arte not enough to act ordinarily and make themselves think as if they are the ones responsible for failures and misrecognitions. Chuck wrote about these feelings in his book through the use of a character named Tyler.
Tyler shows the people his influence through his illustration of nonsensical lives the people had been which gave him the reason to create the group and the fight club members a new reason to live their lives as they prefer it. The first life that Tyler changed was essentially his own. The main character and Tyler are actually the same person although the narrator did not learn this until near the end of the story. When Tyler and the narrator first met together, they started fight club after Tyler’s uttered his legendary phrase, `I want you to hit me as hard as you can` (Palahniuk 46).
This started a totally different period in the narrator’s life. Different from the meaningless but contented life he had been experiencing. This led to an unstructured yet significant life moment he felt in everyday of his life. It is far from his unhappy, monotonous and tedious life at the office, selling cars and dealing with his hated boss. The narrator, having had his life changed by Tyler and fight club, then goes on to say, `You aren’t alive anywhere like your alive at fight club` (51). The narrator would rather be at fight club than anywhere else in the world.
Along with this, he also says that `After a night in fight club, everything in the real world gets the volume turned down` (49). The main character cannot compare his experiences at fight club to anything else in his life. His enthusiasm and eager ness is shown in fight club more than anything in the he ever done in the world, and in the course of his life. Tyler Durden tore down the narrator by changing his life and then rebuilt his life by starting fight club with him. For the narrator, his unexpected meeting with Tyler is the most phenomenal yet unbelievable thing that he never thought could change his nonsensical life.
Tyler also changed strangers’ lives by establishing Project Mayhem and giving assignments at fight club, to be executed and that would make a change in the social environment as the day goes on. Tyler ordered the members to each make twelve human sacrifices to ensure their existence in the organization and make their commitment as sincere as possible thru these assignments. The best example is the human sacrifice the narrator made of Raymond Hessel. The narrator takes Raymond at gunpoint and makes him explain that he has failed at becoming a veterinarian.
After telling Raymond that he will kill him if he won’t be on his way to becoming a veterinarian in three months, the narrator lets him go and remarks, `Raymond K. K. Hessel, your dinner is going to taste better than any meal you’ve ever eaten, and tomorrow will be the most beautiful day of your life` (155). By doing this, the narrator has made Raymond stop taking his life for granted and made him do something productive with his life. Although most people would see this act as being mean or cruel, this is the best and most effective way for the narrator to get Raymond to stop taking his life for granted.
In other words, there is a great effect given off by the group not only upon themselves but to other people as well. It did not matter if these people are total strangers, but what is important to them is the huge effect they make in the lives of people, including that of Tyler’s and the narrator’s. By following the rules and compensating the value of their commitment, the members practically make their lives as meaningful to them, especially inside of the fight club circle. Tyler then expands his vision and decides to create Project Mayhem to try to change the world.
With all the effect of fight club in the minds of its members and the effect of their actions in the society, they became a large organization that plans to take over the society by way of Tyler Durden’s words and commands. In other words, his words are like God’s commandments that should be followed in order to make some changes in the scenes of problematic worldviews. He says `Like fight club does with clerks and box boys, Project Mayhem will break up civilization so that we can make something better out of the world` (125).
He sees that the only way to change the world is to destroy it so it can rebuild into something stronger. Tyler thought of the world as `my world, my world, and those ancient people are dead` (124). He wanted the world to be his generations world and for it to be `free of history. ` Tyler saw that history had done harm to the world, so if they freed the world from its history they were `going to save the world` (125). Project Mayhems main focus is to take the world one step back so they can move three steps forward.
It is like an anarchistic thought that, people should not believe in what ever authorities say, what is important is what Tyler says and the members should believe and respect it like no other authorities exist. By putting into every one’s mind that fight club should not be talked about outside of their organizational circle, the group remains as underground as possible to protect their identity and to protect their principle to change the mainstream interpretation of the world. With this, it shows that it reflects the world view of the narrator as a tedious and tiring scenario wherein he should obey every word his boss says.
Or he should do every work given to him everyday. Sometimes we are tricked into thinking that the only ways for change to come about is to keep moving forward and in the same direction. In Fight Club, we are shown that this is not true by the character of Tyler and that sometimes it is better to move backwards so we can progress forwards. Not only is this true in the book, but it can also be applied to situations in the real world. In addition, we may take another path to attain progress and growth other than what is given to us by the world.
People’s view on the world and life as a whole should be taken on its next level that we should not only think in its linear sense but in a diffusing one. More possibilities and more options. This was also internalized by the narrator through the revelation of Tyler Durden’s identity throughout the story, which gave him other idea of life not just the ordinary life he experienced in the past. But on the otherhand this also led to more serious complications of life as a whole.
Palahniuk, Chuck. Fight Club. USA: WW Norton, 1996.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 17 November 2016
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