Fight Club Notes - Fight Club Chuck Palahniuk The idea of...

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Fight Club Chuck Palahniuk The idea of manhood changes from one generation to the next (man’s growth) - Spiritual warriors believe they have lost the ability to connect directly with other man and feel that they’ve lost the ability to feel the deepest spiritual needs and the disconnection of fathers from sons. - In the 1980’s there was a movement towards a more primitive masculinity. - They were also concerned that without masculine influence—the absence of fathers— those boys would have grown up learning their vision of manhood through the eyes of their mothers. We have a novel in the midst of post modernity about the reassertion of the primal form of masculinity. Men had a need for a physical experience. Essentialism – it wasn’t constructed and didn’t go through versions—the “it” that has always been there. No matter what happens, “it” is always there. There is this essentialism that men need these physical experiences—the macho doings. There is also an escape from commercial culture because it doesn’t offer man a measure by which he can feel alive (man, in a primitive state feels more alive) or fulfilled. Commercial culture is base, mundane and boring, which leads to support groups, which leads to Fight Club—all in an attempt to find a catalyst to make him feel alive—they feel alive through the closeness of pain. Man feels more alive and free when he is closest to death. Life begins on the other side of suffering (pain)—the characters of Fight Club flirt with death. The Fight Club provided the American man a way to get in touch with their primitive selves and masculine identity through violence. The idea of violence is not a new idea—in order for a man to assert his identity is through violence—to kill. The narrator in Fight Club did not have an outlet for innate violent masculine nature. He had become fractured because he lacked that outlet (raised by his mother). The scars that he receives as a result of his violence and pain is the proof he needed (for himself) to confirm his (and all of the members of the Fight Club) existence. The body’s ability to endure violence is a way for men to regain masculinity and assert resistance against the world of simulacra—of consumerism—of fakeness. In the Fight Club, the corporate world and its values are pushed aside as the self and the body attempts to know itself outside of all identifiers of culture (name, problems, age, hopes—you are none of these identifiers) - “The mechanic yells into the wind, ‘You’re not your name.’” The Fight Club then becomes a gathering of men who come to share stories with their bodies, to come alive in ways they cannot in their constructed identities in a capitalist, corporate,
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consumerist society. They bond by connecting physically—a bond among men who are not defined by working for the same corporation, belonging to the same unions, or other cultural bonds, but who come together informally because they recognize some sort of collectivity in
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This note was uploaded on 05/05/2008 for the course ENGL 3354 taught by Professor Hogue during the Spring '06 term at University of Houston.

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Fight Club Notes - Fight Club Chuck Palahniuk The idea of...

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