Fight Club | Study Guide

Chuck Palahniuk

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Fight Club | Chapter 15 | Summary



"Mister chapter president" of the projectionists' union fires Tyler. Tyler goads the chapter president into punching him in the face. Then Tyler blackmails him into continuing his paychecks because of what he knows about the spliced films.

The narrator runs the same blackmail scheme with his waiter job. In front of his boss, the narrator calls a newspaper and starts saying he's done terrible things "as part of a political protest" over working conditions. The narrator feels the words are not his: "Tyler's words coming out of my mouth." When he and Tyler return home they stay up late to compare stories. The narrator notices their faces are bruised; he thinks he and Tyler look like twins.

At the end of his blackmail speech, Tyler had said to the union president, "I am trash and shit and crazy to you ... but I am still your responsibility." The narrator says "basically ... the same stuff" to his boss at the waiter job. While talking to his boss, the narrator hits himself in the face. "For no reason at all" this reminds him of his first fight with Tyler. With blackmail schemes in place, Tyler is free to start more fight clubs.


For all their talk about being guerrilla waiters and service industry saboteurs, the narrator and Tyler act alone when they rebel at work. The narrator says if the story went to the newspaper, "this would be about more than one hotel and one waiter." But it is about just one waiter, himself. He and Tyler don't find a collective solution that would also help their coworkers. Instead they each secure an individual way out of the drudgery of having to work for a living.

Tyler uses his lowly status as projectionist against his boss: "You have too much to lose. I have nothing." The narrator does something similar by pretending his boss beats him up; he willingly takes on the status of a loser. Tyler weaponizes his degradation, or descent into a low status, by using it to wring concessions from his boss. By calling himself "trash and shit," he also creates a defense for himself. If he is at the lowest possible point, he cannot be pushed any lower.

Tyler makes a claim on the boss: "I am ... your responsibility." This could be seen as an aggressive passivity; he presents his extreme helplessness ("I am ... stupid and weak") and then demands to be cared for. This is the only time the narrator or Tyler asks to be taken care of.

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