Fight Club | Study Guide

Chuck Palahniuk

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Fight Club | Chapter 5 | Summary



Returning from a business trip, the narrator finds his suitcase was kept back at the Dulles airport. His suitcase vibrated because it contained his electric razor; airport workers thought it might contain a bomb. He gets home late to find his condominium exploded while he was out of town. The explosion was apparently due to a gas leak. The condo's thick concrete walls and floor contained the blast; no other units are damaged.

All the narrator's possessions are gone, either destroyed in the blast or detained in the airport for inspection. He has no car, either; a lamp falling from the condo crashed through his Audi's windshield. The doorman at his condo building offers him words of advice on the dangers of consumerism.

With no home or car, he now he turns to Tyler. The narrator offers a kind of prayer as he waits for Tyler to answer the phone. "Deliver me from Swedish furniture," he thinks. "May I never be content" is another line of the prayer. Tyler agrees to give him a place to stay. The narrator can move in with him if he'll do one thing: hit him as hard as he can.


In this chapter, the narrator talks with a "security task force guy" and a doorman; at the very end of the chapter, he speaks to his new acquaintance, Tyler. No neighbors at the building commiserate with him or offer their condos for him to stay in. He seems to have no one but Tyler to call. The narrator has been living in isolation socially and even materially: a foot of concrete sealed him off from his neighbors. As if still sealed in concrete, the narrator takes no notice of the doorman's anti-consumerist rant, even though it's close to the kind of philosophy Tyler will later offer.

In the prayer, the narrator asks for things that have already been given to him. He has been delivered from Swedish furniture; it all blew up. He is not content at all. But he prays to Tyler: "Deliver me, Tyler." The prayer hints that perhaps Tyler blew up the condo; he saved the narrator from Swedish furniture and contentment by blowing it all up. The prayer also positions Tyler as a savior. This recalls the comparison the narrator made to Jesus in Chapter 1.

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