You are not your job. You are not how much you have in the bank. You are not the contents of your wallet. You are not your Khakis. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. In Fight club, we meet our main character that comes to us without a name. He can be referred to as, Jerry, but his name is not important. He comes to us without a name because he represents any one man of those Generation X males living in our society at present. Jerry is a thirty-year-old man employed as a recall coordinator for a major automobile company.
He lives in condo that is furnished with all the comforts of modern society, namely mass-produced furnishings that can be found in the homes of millions across North America. Jerry owns a car and has obtained a respectable wardrobe for himself over the course of time, but despite all those things, Jerry is not satisfied with his life. This is because Generation X males are dissatisfied, unhappy, confused or lost. Many people find that it is impossible to obtain a job or career where they are not part of the service industry in some way, shape or form.
As societies priorities have become more and more materialistic and consumer-driven, people are finding themselves more and more distracted with their possessions, rather than with others. Relationships fail because of an increase in the number of single-parent families, in which there is predominately only a mother to act in a relationship, the situation brewing in this film. As we progress through the movie we find that Jerry fells unfulfilled, and trapped in the depths of chronic insomnia. Jerry asks his doctor for help and his doctor advises him to attend some of the support groups at a local church.
Jerry attends these supports groups regularly and in doing so grow to have a sense of belonging. In a quote from the movie Jerry says, This is why I loved the support groups so much. If people thought you were dying, they gave you their full attention. [Because] this might be the last time they saw you, really saw you. People listened instead of just waiting for their turn to speak. It is implied that the average Generation X male also fells this way and has difficulty coping in society where people are too busy to listen.
During Jerry s attendance at his weekly meeting he discovers a way of dealing with some his problems, through the use of guided meditation. In this form of meditation you are led to a cave, which contains their power animal. This is a symbol of personal power, which embodies a way to overcome all obstacles they encounter in life. Jerry discovers that his power animal is a penguin that tells Jerry to slide. Through analysis of the penguin, it is noted that penguins although are bids cannot fly. Jerry is part of the human species yet he doesn t grasp what he can do, and feels restricted by his walls and has essentially made a cave to dwell in.
The penguin is also symbolic in that penguins are also very drone like and happy in there atmosphere and travel in flocks. They also do not stray from their homes and baby penguins stick close to their mothers. The next major event that occurs in Jerry s life, although he is unaware of it at the time is the meeting of Tyler Durden. As analysis of the name Tyler Durden reveals that in antiquated English, Tyler means gatekeeper or house builder and Durden means hard or durable both, which are descriptive by his personality.
Shortly after Jerry s discovery of Tyler he goes on an extended business trip, but upon his return home he has come to find out that his condo has burned to the ground. On his way out of the lobby of the building, the doorman says a view words that echo profoundly in Jerry s head, a lot young people try to impress the world and buy too many things, and a lot of young people don t know what really want. When Jerry realizes he has lost his home and all his possessions he suddenly feels a sense that he is truly alone.
He does not consider calling family, which implies through this decision that he is not close to his family. He calls his newfound friend Tyler Durden to console him, and expresses his grief over the loss of his condo. Tyler replies that it is a good thing that all that baggage is gone. Tyler is illustrating here that people in modern society have become so consumed with what they own that their possession begin to own them. People today have become to overwhelm with consumerism forgetting that objects do not bring them ultimate happiness.
As the evening talk comes to a close Tyler suggests that Jerry stay with him tonight but on one condition, that Jerry hits him as hard as he can. After the brawl Jerry asks Tyler what he had really been fighting for Tyler replies my father. This is a very important underlying theme within Fight Club the theme of Generation X males in modern society being raised more commonly in a single-parent family, often with there mother as a role model. As a result of this men instinctively look for someone to take care of them in a relationship, as they know only what their mother had taught them.
This one single fight between Tyler and Jerry creates a whirlwind of events, which starts the all men group Fight Club. The Fight Club has been officially established as a therapy session for gray collar workers, which Tyler believes, cleanses it of negative, meaningless violence. The Fight Club is now recognized as a group therapy session that soon replaces Jerry s need to attend the other group meetings at the church. Fight Club provides a place for these men to fight their fears, fears that they have been cheated and abandoned by their father.
Fears that they are not god enough, strong enough or smart enough, fears that they will never be able to understand why they fell so trapped in their lives and unsatisfied, and also the fear being alone. As the movie progress Fight Club starts to gain more and more popularity. Now there are many chapters springing up all over the city and a new objective for Fight Club is at hand. It is interesting to note that the character of Tyler Durden is completely opposed to the rules of society, but he sees a need for rules in his club in order to prevent chaos.
Tyler has begun a new area of the club called project mayhem in which members of the club are assigned different tasks by which they will obtain new knowledge of themselves. Jerry soon discovers that Tyler has installed army style bunk beds in the basement of their house and is attempting to build his own personal army. These new space monkeys, a reference that Tyler uses to refer to the new members of project mayhem have begun to grow in tremendously. Tyler s ultimate through project mayhem soon becomes evident to Jerry; he realizes Tyler wants to destroy society as a whole.
Tyler wants to revert back to ancient times when the worlds had not yet discovered technology and money did not exist. It is appealing that reverting back to a primitive hunter-gatherer sort of society is so attractive to Tyler and that he truly feels that this is the solution to all life s problems. It is implied that in modern society men do not have the means to act out their instinctive nature which is to hunt, gather, and reside without rules, completely free, and that this is what men subconsciously long for. But as Project Mayhem progress Jerry discovers that Tyler is suddenly present less and less.
Tyler s absence makes him realize that it has affected him in the same way his fathers abandonment has affected him in his life. The movie goes on to end in with the culmination of Project Mayhem accomplishments. The destruction of all major credit card establishments so that each person can start all over from ground zero. Jerry realizes that he and Tyler are one person and that he has been living vicariously through this fictional character. We realize that there is no great war or depression for the current generation to fight for instead there is a great war of the spirit and the great depression has become people lives.
Fight Club shows the breakdown of our modern society and suggests that things can only be improved through drastic measures. The answer might be to abandon all of the materialism and greed that has consumed our culture and resort back to the old days. Maybe a change in society is what we need, this way we can become conscious of the problems at hand and embark on our own journeys of self-discovery with the intention of living our lives only for that which truly matters happiness.