Reading for the first time, I was influenced by the book so much I thought “what the hell am I doing with my life.”
Upon repeat watching and reading of Fight Club, I realised it was essential for any man to experience. It teaches many things about life, from masculinity to our role in society.
Here are some of the main things I picked up on:
Utilise life while you can through self-improvement
Through Fight Club Tyler Durden lead a bunch of minimum wage guys with nothing to live for to create self-destruction and anarchy in the society he has grown to loathe.
Although there are a number of attacks on self-improvement throughout, in many ways the men who get involved in Fight Club and Project Mayhem are self-improving as they are doing something with their life.
The Narrator self-improves by unleashing the part of his mind that he has suppressed.
Instead of coveting possessions and watching TV we should be out there doing something or creating things.
Tyler and the narrator are one, but it is through creating Tyler Durden is is able unleash his potential
Risks make you feel alive
Throughout Fight Club there is risky behaviour – fighting, vandalism… terrorism. The men who are dead inside from their lives have a reason to live by taking risks.
Although I would not suggesting going to the extremes seen, it always serves as reminder to try and do something out of the comfort zone.
There are always ways to make money
Money is something I struggle to get, but fight club shows there are ways of making money through hardwork or being creative.
The Narrator works a desk job, Tyler works as a screen projectionist, a waiter and makes his own soap. Although we may not be able to dedicated as much time as a insomniac with a Dissociative identity disorder there must be some time we can spare to make more money?
You are not your job
The Narrator has everything from his job, a nice apartment, possessions, security, yet he is obviously not happy and seems like a lonely guy, going to self-help groups for conditions he doesn’t even have.
When he creates Tyler Durden his life gets better, he stops giving a shit about his job, stops watching TV and does a lot of interesting stuff.
Previously I have invested a lot of my life to my job, where I got to a similar state the narrator was in. I know my job as nothing but something that gives me money to invest into enjoying my life.
Marla is attracted to Tyler, not the narrator
When the narrator is attending the self-help groups and begins noticing Marla attending he is fascinated with her. He has feelings of anger that she is taking over ‘his’ groups.
He fears approaching her so much, he has to give himself a pep talk to confront her about being a fake. He has a child-like obsession with her and doesn’t quite fully realise his attraction to her.
So how does he get this girl to like him? Along comes Tyler, an alter ego who describes himself best
“I look like you wanna look, I fuck like you wanna fuck, I am smart, capable, and most importantly, I’m free in all the ways that you are not.”
By adopting this self-confident, fearless attractive guy, he gets Marla and despite being aloof she keeps coming back.
This is a good perception of having masculine qualities, he is not needy, clinging or pathetic. He is confident, funny and takes the lead. All important attributes for a man who wants to take control of a relationship.
“If you died right now, how would you feel about your life?”
That is the question Tyler asks the narrator in the car, this forces the narrator to admit he would not feel anything good. Tyler acts as an element of the narrators personality that wants people to be there best.
When Tyler points the gun at the convience store clerk and threatens to kill him in six weeks is he is not on his way to becoming a vet is an extreme approach he takes because he doesn’t want the kid wasting his life.
“Tomorrow will be the most beautiful day of Raymond K. Hessel’s life. His breakfast will taste better than any meal you and I have ever tasted.”
Therefore I always think that I should try to do something, so that if I die tomorrow I would be able to see something positive in my last breath.
You’re not unique or special
“You are not special. You’re not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else. We’re all part of the same compost heap. We’re all singing, all dancing crap of the world.”
This particular quote is so powerful it puts everything in perspective and is a hell of an ego check – “You are not special”
In many ways not being special is a relief, I don’t have to live up to an imaginary expectation and if I make a fool of myself or fail no one will particularly care.
Hence we should live life, make mistakes, love, travel, take risks, don’t live in regret. We are not special snowflakes, we are free.