Thursday, April 30, 2009
I am Jack's Complete and Utter Awe
I am also Jack's contentedness. Kudos to you Donna, for Fight Club was an awesome movie on which to end this class. The humor, the plot, the cast, and all of the little nuances completely brought the movie together into one amazing experience. I think that the overall style of the film has been my favorite thus far; the director used a lot of really unique angles, flashbacks, and a first-person narrative that made the twist at the end even more surprising. The funny thing is that before seeing the movie, I thought that Fight Club was just a film about, well, a fight club. For some reason (at least around me) everybody kind of followed the first rule about fight club. I've never really heard anybody talk about it or the overall plot of the film. Even though if I'd known the plot of the movie I would have watched it before this, I'm kind of glad that I went in with a blank slate. It totally wasn't what I expected, so I think it made that much more of an impact.
After class, a few of us discussed the character of Tyler Durden on the way back to our respective rooms, and though we didn't all completely agree, it gave me some major food for thought. We see that at the beginning of the movie Edward Norton's character has absolutely no sense of identity; he is nameless, except for the identities that he bestows upon himself during his first round of trying to find meaning in the support groups, he works a seemingly unremarkable office job, and he has a condo filled with mass-produced "cool" furniture. The narrator creates Tyler as a reaction to his surroundings and his feelings of having no identity, and in Tyler finds everything he wants to be and everything that he ultimately fears. He creates Tyler to become free of the restraints on his life, the restraints that society places on every man in his generation.
The existence of Tyler as a vehicle of freedom is the obvious satire of the movie. Norton's character creates Tyler, becomes Tyler, to free himself, but it is the very creation of Tyler Durden that ultimately ensnares him. Tyler becomes the system that he is fighting against, with his army of unquestioning and nameless followers, his weird little soap factory, and his incredibly well-planned agenda to stick it to the man. During his entire "existence", Tyler frees nobody, not the narrator, not the members of Project Mayham. Strangely enough, it is only with the existence and subsequent demise of Tyler Durden that the narrator truly frees himself and those around him.
Even though I didn't think that Tyler Durden was a morally good character, the very thought of how he came to be is kind of cool, and a little scary. I think any of us, especially in our generation without much to really rail against, could have a Tyler Durden waiting to come out fighting. However, there is a flip side to that coin: humans will always struggle with one another, and the world will never be peaches and cream. If you can't find anything to give your life meaning, something to really care about, then you aren't looking hard enough.