Fight Club | Study Guide

Chuck Palahniuk

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Fight Club | Chapter 23 | Summary



Back home at Paper Street, the narrator is afraid to look in the refrigerator. He imagines it full of cut-off testicles, from cities where Tyler followed through on his threats. In the kitchen, a space monkey recites Tyler's slogans of degradation, calling himself "the crap of the world" and "a toxic waste by-product of God's creation."

The narrator wants to talk to Marla, but he fears the space monkeys in the Paper Street house will eavesdrop. They go to a Denny's restaurant, although space monkeys are there, too. The narrator tells Marla his real name and shows her his ID. He says he created Tyler, "and now he's threatening to take over my real life." However, the narrator also expresses admiration for Tyler for his bravery and charisma.

Marla isn't so much shocked as excited. The narrator enlists her help; he wants her to track Tyler. Otherwise the narrator won't know what Tyler is doing. The narrator realizes he was asleep on the beach when he met first met Tyler. He thinks if he sleeps too much now, Tyler could take over entirely. The narrator asks Marla to keep him awake so Tyler can't take control. And if he does fall asleep he wants Marla to follow Tyler.


Earlier Tyler and their narrator both used their own lowly status to punish their bosses. Now Tyler turns it around; this time he is the boss. He teaches his space monkeys they are "crap" and "waste" as a way to increase their devotion to him.

Along with the narrator's new realization Tyler is his enemy, the narrator feels increasingly threatened by Tyler's loyal space monkeys. Even leaving the Paper Street house is no guarantee of safety; space monkeys lurk everywhere.

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