Masculinity In Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club

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Chuck Palahniuk’s novel, Fight Club, was published in 1996; however, the depiction of masculinity in the narrative is still relevant to today’s society. According to Steven Hammer, “masculinity is typically measured by the size of one’s paycheck, wealth, power and status” (Hammer 1). Even if one is blessed with all these qualities that are allegedly required to be the ultimate male, all it takes is someone to threaten a man’s masculinity for him to act in an irrational manner to prove himself. This extreme case of excess masculinity is known as hypermasculinity. The definition of hypermasculinity, defined by Collins English Dictionary, is the exaggeration of male stereotypical behavior, such as an emphasis on physical strength, aggression, …show more content…
Their social class, reputation, and body image are completely disregarded; all that matters in this cosmopolitan community is their loyalty to the cause. After been seen as oddly different, Bob yearns to be accepted by his fellow comrades, to prove himself, he fully devotes his life to the success and development of fight club, this is shown when it transitions into Project Mayhem and he is still willing to perform any task, even when it may be considered an act of terrorism. Although he may feel powerful, as he has obtained masculine traits from his former self and enriched his confidence level, his obsession with proving his machismo ultimately leads to his downfall. While performing one of Tyler’s “homework assignments”, he is shot and killed by the police. In Hammer’s critical analysis he notes, “the same fixation that had once caused [Bob] to damage his relationships and lose both his children and career ultimately led him to lose his life” (Hammer 1). Despite the unhappy aftermath of Bob’s involvement in Project Mayhem, his mission to be accepted as a man was successful. Fight club ultimately allowed Robert Paulson to restore his …show more content…
The narrator becomes infatuated with what the Tyler stands for, and how masculine he is, the narrator says, “I love everything about Tyler Durden, his courage and his smarts. His nerve. Tyler is funny and charming and forceful and independent, and men look up to him and expect him to change their world” (Palahniuk 174). As the narrator’s involvement in the fight club increases, he begins to distance himself from Marla and his day job; he evolves into someone who he once idolized, however, he is now beginning to realizes that this hypermasculine group he has created is doing more harm than good. When Project Mayhem starts becoming a threat to Marla, the narrator is forced to choose between Marla’s safety and his newfound masculinity. Although fight club proved boost the narrator’s masculine morals, it also caused destruction to his life, as he lost his job and put the people he cared about in

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