Fight Club | Study Guide

Chuck Palahniuk

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Course Hero. "Fight Club Study Guide." May 17, 2017. Accessed November 13, 2018.


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Fight Club | Chapter 19 | Summary



Later that same night the narrator, the mechanic, and three other fight club members go on a mission. They plan to steal human fat from a medical waste dump. The fat comes from liposuction operations on "the richest, fattest thighs in the world." The narrator wants to know what Tyler is planning, but no one tells him. The mechanic says he had to make four "human sacrifices" as part of this week's homework, but the narrator doesn't ask him to explain.

On the way to the waste dump the mechanic talks and talks, "and it's pure Tyler Durden." The mechanic points out "the smartest and strongest men who have ever lived" are stuck in service jobs, "pumping gas and waiting tables." This generation needs a "war of the spirit," and "we" can free "these men and women" by enslaving them. The mechanic asks the narrator to imagine going on strike "until the wealth of the world is redistributed." He also asks him to imagine hunting elk after the end of civilization.


Although the narrator calls the mechanic's talk "pure Tyler Durden," Tyler's and the narrator's words are blending. The narrator was the first to think about hunting, and the mechanic quotes his never-spoken narration word for word, right down to "the damp canyon forests around the ruins of the Rockefeller." However, the narrator still doesn't know what Tyler knows.

In a way, the mechanic does answer the narrator's question; he tells him Tyler's plans, but only on the most grandiose level. Tyler wants to make his Paper Street space monkeys into a revolutionary army. This army will win the "war of the spirit," which seems aimed at taking down civilization. The idea of achieving a revolutionary redistribution of wealth with a single, worldwide labor strike is grandiose and impractical. He also has no plan for how to return society to the primitive bands of hunters he envisions or how to survive that transformation. Tyler thinks a lot of himself, and his space monkeys think the world of him. When the mechanic speaks of freeing people by enslaving them, he echoes the process of indoctrination in the Paper Street house.

When Marla described the process of "gleaning," the fat seemed like a nurturing substance, passed from mother to daughter, to keep the daughter plump and youthful. Now the men talk about this fat in similar terms: it is "the richest, creamiest" fat and "the fat of the land." They seem to refer to the idiom "to live off the fat of the land," meaning to live well and to have abundant crops. However, the men plan to sell this fat back to wealthy women in the form of soap.

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