Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Violence as a Part of Philosophy in the Novel Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Fight Club is a novel by Chuck Palahniuk, published in 1996. It was the second novel by Chuck Palahniuk, later made into a film in 1999 by director David Fincher, starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton (Palahniuk, 1996). The purpose of the novel Fight Club is for the readers to see what happens to an individual who is lonely and looking for some way to connect with other people.

The narrator finds solace in his friend Tyler, who in the end makes him engage in fights in order to “feel alive” and like a man or more masculine (Wartenberg, 2011). The writer shows the different ways that people deal with difficult situations and loneliness. Although the narrator blindly follows Tyler and forms a fight club, at the end it completely eliminates his problem with insomnia, since he finally finds a purpose. The writer wants the reader to understand that no matter what sort of predicament one faces in life, they should be ready to pick themselves up and face the world in whatever way possible as long as at the end of the day, there is total satisfaction.

The main subject of the novel is violence as a means of achieving masculinity. The main characters, which are the narrator and Tyler, go as far as forming their own fight club. It is a subject of concern since the novel depicts violence as the way for males to prove their masculinity (Palahniuk, 1996). In addition, looking at the rules that have been set by the fight club, it clearly illustrates the intention of the author as all the rules revolve around more violence and ways to ensure that this is kept secret.

The story is told around a narrator, whose name is not given, who seeks treatment for insomnia. He meets with Marla in one of the meetings that were recommended by a doctor. He later meets Tyler Durden, which signifies the beginning of the journey to starting the fight club. The writer then twists the story by bringing in a relationship between Marla and Tyler, which makes the narrator jealous of Marla for taking away Tyler (Boon, 2003). It can be argued that the writer’s representation of events is chronological and meant to direct the reader to a certain conclusion. The writer represents Tyler as a character with authority and one that the narrator would like to emulate (Jordan, 2002). The writer also brings a human aspect to the story by introducing a romantic relationship in the fold. One can therefore argue that the characters and the plot of the story are well-represented and achieve their objective.

The novel’s ideal audience are teenagers. It can also be argued that it targets males with no father figure.

Boon, K. (2003). Men and Nostalgia For Violence: Culture and Culpability In Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club. The Journal of Men’s Studies, 11(3), 267-276.
Jordan, M. (2002). Marxism, Not Manhood: Accommodation And Impasse In Seamus Heaney’s Beowulf and Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club. Men and Masculinities, 4(4), 368-379.
Palahniuk, C. (1996). Fight Club. New York: W.W. Norton & Co..
Palahniuk, C. (1996). Fight Club: A Novel (1. ed.). New York, NY [u.a.: Norton.
Wartenberg, T. E. (2011). Fight Club. Hoboken: Taylor & Francis.