Masculinity In Tyler Durden's Fight Club

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Register to read the introduction… They see that they are unsatisfied when trying to achieve the male American dream and have no gratification in their lives. Fight Club members see that their job does not define them but often in the male American dream, a man’s job is his value. Through the constant pressure to conform to society’s standards, the male loses his true identity and becomes a slave to working for the male American dream, giving him no sense of self, worth or pride therefore losing masculinity and identity by only conforming to what everyone else does and expects. The narrator exemplifies this through his upscale condo with all matching furniture sets from Ikea (Fight Club). The narrator states, “I had it all. I had a stereo that was very decent, a wardrobe that was getting very respectable. I was close to being complete” (Fight Club). He has all of these possessions, which should be satisfying him, but the film suggests that he still feels something is missing. This could be because he is looking for happiness and meaning in his possessions, being a slave to society’s standards, therefore having no identity or perception of himself other than possessions. He lives his life through his possessions, placing equal value on material items and his own …show more content…
The objective of Fight Club is to survive using only what you need, your body, in the fight. The ability to endure the pain throughout the fight is a test to their character and therefore the men are able to find their identity. Material items and money are completely disregarded and not a factor in the fight, specifically defying the essence of the male American dream’s definition of masculinity. This is because according to Tyler Durden, “You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet” (Fight Club). By eliminating these possessions and hitting rock bottom, the men of fight club feel liberated. The narrator states this feeling by saying, “Yes, these are bruises from fighting. Yes, I am comfortable with that. I am enlightened” (Fight Club). The narrator is suggesting that from Fight Club he has a different outlook on life, one that does not have to do with the material items that previously defined him. The marks on his body from the pain he has endured are a testament to his masculinity and newfound identity, neither of which have to do with material items. The narrator says of fighting, “When the fight was over, nothing was solved, but nothing mattered. We all felt saved” (Fight Club).

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