We all know that the first rule of fight club is: you do not talk about fight club but I will make an exception for this essay.
I was a freshman in high school when I first watched Fight Club. I will admit that my first impressions about the movie only scratched its surface. The movie began with the narrator (Edward Norton) describing his ordinary job of working for an automobile company. It was soon revealed that he suffers from insomnia and has to attend group therapy sessions in order to sleep.
Later, a new character called Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) is introduced. Immediately, the narrator and Tyler become friends. The narrator even stays with Tyler and they start a fight club as a way to deal with their emotions. Things take a turn for worse when the narrator cannot control the club and Tyler takes over. In the end, I saw flashbacks of the narrator punching, not Brad Pitt’s character Tyler Durden, but himself. I was just as astonished, shocked and anxiety-ridden as the narrator (Ed Norton) was to discover that he and Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) were the same person. This movie gave me a roller coaster of emotions and the final twist certainly made it one of the best movies that I had seen.
A few months ago, I decided to watch Fight Club again. Much to my surprise, it was even better than before. This time I was able to understand the whole meaning behind the movie.
The movie illustrates that people are being manipulated by society into believing that they need materialistic things that are unnecessary. In the beginning scene of the movie, the narrator describes that he has become a slave to the Ikea magazine. He needs to buy all the furniture on the magazine to achieve happiness.
The narrator feels that society has been manipulating him. As a result of his realization he blows up his apartment to signify his rejection of it. He moves to a run down house where he can reject all the influences of the outside world and consumerism. The movie illustrates that it is possible for one to reject society and not be sad or feel in withdrawal.
Later, The narrator says “It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we are free to do anything.” This quote is evident, as the narrator had lost everything that was important to him i.e. his briefcase and his apartment. Now with a fresh start, he is able to pick and choose what he feels is appropriate and how to live his life without being told by society what to do.
Lastly, the narrator believes that all his experiences have turned him into a better person who feels free from the influence of society. He thinks that the general public would benefit as well as he did. In the end, he decides that blowing up the credit card companies will turn society into a better one.
The core message of this movie is that all of us have been tricked into believing that our lives are governed by the clothes we wear, cars we drive, houses we live in and the money we all have in our accounts.