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Fight club is a club in which men have the opportunity to meet and fight, as a form of alleviating stress and troubles of life. The fact that these men, who are part of the fight club, meet secretly in order to fight, shows the great desire for a thrill that these men have. This desire coupled with secretiveness makes the fight club very popular, seeing that it is a reserve of men, and only a few at that. The narrator and his partner Tyler use the fight club as an avenue to help men overcome their troubles. The fight club is an institution that seeks to return the masculinity of men in society. It is an institution that is used solely for the purpose of fully supporting men in society in regaining their masculinity as well as alleviating stresses.
In the novel Fight Club, the society is portrayed as being very feminist in nature. The fact that many children have to be contented with an absentee or a runaway father leaves many men extremely feminized. While this feminization is neither intentional nor fosters a hidden agenda, it continues to affect the lives of the men in society.
The society finds itself devoid of men who have been taught to grow up as real men. Many men, having been raised by their mothers, end up being men inundated by feminine traits. The persona and character of Tyler Durden appears as a knight, in shining armor, ready to save the male species from further emasculation and feminization. The narrator meets with Tyler Durden and a friendship that yields the fight club ensues. Soon after their meeting, the two men develop the fight club, where men can come and release themselves of their troubles and worries.
The character of Tyler Durden plays a great role in attracting men to the fight club. The fact that he is able to remain as a ‘true man’, raised by a real father figure, is responsible for his likeability among men. Tyler asserts that he is what every man wants to be when he says “I look like you wanna look, I… like you wanna …, I am smart, capable, and most importantly, I'm free in all the ways that you are not.” (Palahniuk, 63). The fight club serves as a scapegoat on which all men can dump their troubles. The fact that a large number of men are willing to fight each other, not for a specific cause, but instead simply to rid themselves of their anger and troubles portrays the enchanting nature of the fight club.
Many men are drawn to the fight club primarily because it gives them an opportunity to feel like real men. Appealing to the innate desire of every man to display his masculinity plays a central role in the success of the fight club. When Tyler asks “How much can you know about yourself if you've never been in a fight?” he appeals to men to realize their true masculine selves-and the only way to do it is through a fight (Palahniuk, 77).
Many men are willing to join a club where they can easily hurt or injure themselves simply so that they can appear as real men. The desire of every man to engage in activities that enhance their masculinity, however dangerous, appeals greatly to many of the men in the fight club. Fighting for the sake of fighting leads many a man into joining the fight club. The need to engage in a fight that has no particular motive behind it provides enjoyment for the men in the fight club.
Many men are also drawn to the fight club since it provides an opportunity for them to suppress the femininity instilled in them by the society. Tyler and the narrator can be heard saying “heyyyy u comin to fight club tonight? [it’s] gonna be super fighty…heyhey are u around i need a ride to fight club”(Palahniuk, 45).The fact that men are allowed to fight for their own good alone served as good enough bait for a society of men craving to experience masculinity in its raw form. This opportunity to fight comes with another benefit; the chance to come out on top. Apart from releasing themselves, the men in the fight club have the chance to come out on top of their opponent. Although the fights are not competitive in nature, the nature of men to compete against each other draws many men into the fight club.
In joining the fight club, many men have the chance to shed off their feminine traits. The character of Tyler serves as a baseline upon which masculinity is judged and the need for men to realize this character drives many of them into the fight club. In joining the fight club, these men have the opportunity to fight for pleasure and to engage in other destructive activity such as Project Mayhem. When the narrator says “I wanted to destroy everything beautiful I'd never have.” many men associate with this and take the opportunity to join Project Mayhem (Palahniuk, 70). Such activities appeal to men as they hope these activities will make them more masculine than they are. Such is the case when Tyler says “Maybe self-improvement isn't the answer, maybe self-destruction is the answer.”(Palahniuk, 67). The narrator believes that engaging in fight that is capable of destroying them is the key to being free from all their worries.
Many men also learn how to ‘behave’ like men. Following in the footsteps of Tyler, many men believe that following Tyler’s instructions and doing as Tyler commands will eventually make them like Tyler. Although, in actual sense, these men do not learn anything new per se, they view the fight club as an avenue to learning how to be a man. Many of these men are looking for the opportunity to ‘learn’ and to showcase their masculinity to fellow men in the fight club. This showcase of masculinity is primarily responsible for keeping the men as loyal members of the club. It is also responsible for the spectacular growth of the fight club into a national outfit.
An alternative book and character review can be found here
In joining the fight club, many men are looking for an opportunity to express their masculine nature. They are looking for a window that allows them to be aggressive and raw and violent, and still receive praise for such actions. This desire to be the ‘real men’ that they think they should be is what drives many of these men into participating in the fight club.
Many men are also looking for a thrill in their lives. As is the case with the narrator, a seemingly boring and lonely life sees him seek solace in support groups of ailments he does not have. This boredom with life plays a key role in the lives that many of the men joining the fight club live. The desire to escape the boredom and have an exciting life attracts many men to the fight club. Tyler says “….Quit your job. Start a fight. Prove you're alive. If you don't claim your humanity you will become a statistic. You have been warned.” (Palahniuk, 85). This draws many men into trying to add a thrill to their lives. The pursuit of a thrill similar to none other is very appealing to the men joining the fight club. Furthermore, the opportunity to associate with a paragon of masculinity (Tyler) is too good to forego. This continues to attract many men to the fight club.
The fight club is an institution that holds high esteem in the lives of many men in the novel. The fact that the club gives men the chance to be themselves in their true forms without regret is responsible for the great liking of the club among men. The chance to alleviate worries and stresses, through a good fight, is responsible for the cult-like following that the club receives from men. The fight club gives men just what they want.
Palahniuk, Chuck. Fight Club. New York: W.W. Norton & Co, 1996. Print.
This book authored by Alfred Cosby explains the common phrase Columbian Exchange characterized by intercontinental movement of flora and fauna. The authorship of this book illustrates a simple point that the changes brought in the voyages by Columbus, were neither social nor political in nature but rather biological (Crosby 45-47). This book narrates how the year 1492 sparked the movement of organisms across the Atlantic. This movement coined as Columbus exchange led to a sudden change in the history of the planet. This book has changed history as a field. The book is foundational in the new school of environmental history. It remains as a canonical book in the understanding of the world history (Winn 74). Crosby establishes an interactive perspective between ecological and social events. This book is vital and remains to be the inspiration for future considerations.
It is valuable to what happened between people separated by time and space. The exchanges that happened in 1492 were both biological and cultural (Maddox 75). Cultural in the sense that doctrines and religious views were introduced in the New World. Crosby presents both the existence and non-existence of an isthmus between the Old and the New Worlds. A common basis of Crosby arguments and views in his book shows that the cross-migrations had a huge influence to the New World in comparison to the Old. This is due to the latter being larger with a huge variety of life forms in the period of isolation from the rest of the world. The biological sense presented in the book shows uniqueness of long-lived life forms. For instance, the modern camel and horse have a North American origin. These camels migrated to the west to become the dromedaries and the famous Bactrian of both Asia and Africa. They migrated to the south to become the llamas of Peru (Winn 78-82). In the same measure, the horses moved to Asia and then to Europe.
The book presents an ingenious analysis of biological loss of fauna. In page nineteen, the author gives an analysis of how certain animals such as the giant bison and toothed tigers have disappeared in the course of time leaving behind a zoologically impoverished ecology (Crosby 19-37). The six chapter book provides an in depth analysis of the Exchanges happening since 1492. The author has organized his ideas in the book, in a comprehensive and understandable stance. In the same manner, the author has supported the thesis, which puts the contact between the Old and the New World. To support his thesis, the author proves the exchanges between the initial contact between the Old and the New World (Crosby 169-176). Crosby provides the exchange of the diseases, animals and plants and explains how they continue to change life. The only problem surfacing from the book is the repetitive nature in the presentation. This is, however, beneficial as the author attempts to explain and discuss the magnitude of his thesis statement while laying emphasis of set points. Every argument and view presented in the book connects to the thesis statement.
Exchange of diseases, plants, and animals are a matter that has found great examination from the historians. Crosby, however, puts in a practical spin, in his examination. An example of this is the disease. Crosby provides a lengthy explanation of epidemics and their effects on the Indian population. An interesting cross-examination is that relating to the disease of syphilis. There is a huge relationship between theory and facts as the author explains in chapter four. In this chapter, Crosby explains the theories relating to the origin of Syphilis (Crosby 126). The Columbian theory brought by Columbus from West Indies provides an overall support for his thesis in comparison to the Unitarian theory.
Crosby presents objectively the backing of each theory presented in his book. The same chapter presents a mix of historical records, scientific studies and other primary sources. In his analysis, Crosby illustrates how these exchanges not only changed the life of the Indians but also how it affected the rest of the world from deadly disease to a milder sexually transmitted infection.
The exchange of flora and fauna relates to the thesis by Crosby linking it to the fact the number of human beings in the last three centuries has quadrupled. Scientific records showing the exchange of plants between the Old and New World examine the truth behind this fact. The author uses historical records to show the same exchange of food grown in different places. The author gives a reference to help the reader understand the point. For example, the author traces the migration of Irish to America. This was because of potato which a staple food to their diet. This crop was not indigenous to Ireland but thrived in the New World where other crops could not. The exchanges had both positive and negative impact to the people of New World. The epidemics were common following the arrival of the Old World people. The contact, for example, between the Indian and both the European and Africans lead to diminution of their numbers if not their destruction (Maddox 69-75). These phenomena are difficult to explain under the support of a single theory, but it is compatible with the reasoning of little resistance to these diseases.
The author’s arguments are persuasive and find great support from the both scientific and historical records. Crosby for instance draws his arguments from the post-Columbian medical historical record of America (Crosby 212). The author provides quotation to experts who examined the situation in the historical period. For example, the author gives a quote on the seriousness of the pandemic that began in 1519, in Great Antilles, and spreading to Mexico and Central America. The exchange of flora and fauna has found support from the historical records presented in the author’s arguments. For example, the arrival of banana to Antilles from the Canaries in 1516, is described as a fruit with and easily removable skin (Crosby 68-73).
The flesh of this fruit is likened to a marrow from the leg bone of the cow. These quotations from both the scientific records provide the persuasiveness of the arguments in the book and in length supporting the thesis of the author. The revelation in these arguments is rife and shows history of colonial Africa and African American history. Page sixty-eight of the text explains the economic underpinnings of this fact by showing the effects of European settlements in tropical and semitropical zones of America. The conclusion of the book is interesting with the author arguing that long-term effects of biological exchange during this time are not encouraging at all. The author notes that the Columbian exchange lead to an impoverished genetic pool (Crosby 218). Crosby utilizes both scientific and historical data to support his views. This book is invaluable for any reader who would like to understand the history of Latin America. The book sells since the ideas and arguments are a bolster to the thesis statement.
Crosby, Alfred W. The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492. Princeton, N.J: Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic, 2006. Print.
Crosby, Alfred W. Germs, Seeds & Animals: Studies in Ecological History. Armonk, N.Y. [etc.: M.E. Sharpe, 1994. Print.
Maddox, Gregory. Sub-saharan Africa: An Environmental History. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO, 2006. Print.
Winn, Peter. Americas: The Changing Face of Latin America and the Caribbean. Berkeley, Calif: University of California Press, 2006. Print.
Different writers adopt varying writing styles depending on what and how they would like to communicate a particular message. Metafiction is a literary device that demonstrates self-reflexivity or self-awareness of the fiction in the story. Art Spiegelman and Allison Bechdel have demonstrated exceptional use of metafiction in their novels Maus and Fun House. In a glimpse, Maus is a story of a man (Ajna) who is struggling to survive through harsh economic times after he lost his company during the World War II. During the war all Jews are detained in camps where they suffered hostility from the Germans. His attempts to flee from Poland fail, and he and his wife also find themselves in the hands of the German troops. In all these events, art is describing his life story including his tense relationship with his father. The novel, Fun House, assumes an autobiographic nature but avoids the self-obsessed form of autobiography. Alison’s writes about the complex relationship between her and her father. In the story, Alison compares her personality to that of her father and portrays the two as a series of opposing philosophies.
Elements of Metafiction in the Novel, Maus
As stated earlier, metafiction is the use of fiction that is self-conscious. Maus starts as art arrives at his father's place in order to record his father’s holocaust memories. He begins writing the book he intends to write, bringing in the idea of self-awareness. As a result, the novel appears in two sections; book I and book II. In book I the writer assumes the notion that he is already writing the actual book. In a layman’s language, book I is aware that it is actually a book. The writer would have narrated the story directly in a single book. Instead, he writes a book within a book that implies that his second book is self-conscious. This clearly demonstrates the use of metafiction in the novel, Maus.
In delivering the story, Art represents people using mice. However, there are particular instances whereby the human nature of the mice is brought out. For instance, the statement, “like prisoner on the hell planet” , portrays Art as a man and not a mouse (George mason university, 2010). Such a statement takes the audience from the fiction world to mean that the mouse is aware of the human nature behind its rodentine representation.
Post-modernism is an element of art that may appear in the construction of the story or characterization. In the novel, Maus, by Art there is a significant representation of post-modernism. The author uses holocausts that represent post-modernism in his plot development. In another instance, Art introduces metafiction at the beginning of part II while talking to his girlfriend about his novel. In his words he says, “In real life you would never have let me talk this long without interrupting” (Tschuffer, 2012). This clearly shows that the fiction in the novel know that it is fiction.
Elements of Metafiction in the Novel, Fun House
Metafiction in the novel, Fun House, is most visible through the author’s words. In chapter three of the novel, the author says, “I employ these allusions to James and Fitzgerald not only as descriptive devices, but because my parents are most real to me in fictional terms.” (Academia.edu, 2013). The characters in the novel are factious. However, the statement above indicates that the fiction in the story is self-aware. Although the audience is aware that the characters are fictions, the author goes an extra mile to demonstrate that the fiction used in the novel is self-aware.
Possible Relevance of Metafiction
Metafiction enables the authors to develop their stories and also to introduce some common features of art such as flexibility. For instance, Art uses post-modernism to demonstrate the fluid nature or flexibility of art. In the story, the writer is talking about events that happened before his existence. Nonetheless, this does not prevent him from using elements that exist in the post-modern era of art. The use of holocaust in designing the graphics of a story that happened a long time ago means that artists can borrow from any art period without restrictions.
Still in the novel, Maus, the author can discuss difficult occurrences through the use of metafiction. Issues such as lifeless bodies lying on the streets have less weight when portrayed as fiction characters than real ones. It makes the message of the story easy to comprehend.
Both Allison and Art make use of metafiction for plot development. Metafiction is used to connect reality and fiction or rather spontaneously create the notion that the fictions characters represent real human beings. Metafiction partially takes the audience from the world of fiction to reality.
Reasons for Use of Metafiction
Although both Art and Allison use metafiction in their novels, they portray and use it to achieve different effects. Again, it is important to note that Art’s use of metafiction is more rampant or visible than that of Allison. While art uses metafiction to demonstrate the fluid nature of art. He easily borrows a feature from the post-modern era and uses it in to narrate a story that happened a long time ago. On the other hand, Allison uses metafiction to bring the audience back to the real world. From the two novels, the use of metafiction plays a significant role in plot development
Academia.edu. (2013). Modernism and Alison Bechdel’s fun home.
George mason university, (2010). Metafiction in volume 2, chapter 2 of Maus.
Tschuffer, K. (2012). Words images and the spaces in-between: graphic novels as literature.
The novel Fight Club encompasses a variety of characters, all of whom play different, but equally, vital parts in the propagation of themes in the novel. The novel’s protagonist-the narrator-is an individual who is at loggerheads with his persona. His mental imbalance, results in his institutionalization in a mental illness facility. The picture that Chuck Palahniuk paints of this intriguing character is a testament of the insanity he suffers.
The narrator is an individual who lives a very boring life, one in which he is the villain of his own story. The fact that the narrator suffers from emotional imbalance and loneliness, all play a central role in the development of insanity in the narrator. As a means of encouragement and comfort, the narrator chooses to create an imaginary character that embodies the many character traits the narrator clearly lacks. The result of this imagination is Tyler Durden, an individual that is the embodiment of the ’true man’.
What the narrator clearly lacks, Tyler more than makes up for in his character, as well as, physical appearance. This fantasy character created by the narrator is the beginning of all his troubles, and this comes along once he is no longer able to release himself emotionally in the support groups that he used to attend under false pretences. Tyler is a character that immediately takes control of the narrator’s life. He dictates terms and ignores the ‘true voice’ of the narrator. The power that Tyler wields over the narrator is so great that the narrator no longer lives his own life, and instead lives out Tyler’s life. The result is a disastrous mental illness on the narrator.
The power of imagination seems to have taken over the narrator’s life to the point that the narrator carries out clear, concise dialogues and even arguments, between himself and Tyler. The character of the narrator fuels the need for Tyler to assert himself and this is played out in his many split-personality encounters. The failure of the narrator to accept the reality that his life is boring and empty drives him to create a character that eventually ruins his own life. This is a very ironic feat, seeing that before the narrator ‘met’ Tyler, he seemed to have a firm grip on his life.
The mere fact that Tyler and the narrator are never seen together by the other characters is a manifestation of the imaginary nature of this character. The narrator is completely detached from reality such that when he forms the Fight Club as Tyler, he becomes a follower of himself. He, just like other men, exhibits his sycophancy for Tyler by following his every command without question. The interesting fact about this is that the narrator follows his own commands or rather the commands of his alias. His desire to live out the life of Tyler as a ‘real’ man forces him to suppress his own thoughts, ideologies and principles and, in turn, follow Tyler’s. This is a big hindrance to the life of the narrator as he tries to live his own life.
The narrator’s mental state takes a turn for the worse once he decides to quit the Fight Club and develop a sense of ‘rebellion’ towards Tyler. This is a big challenge seeing that the bad blood between the two characters plays itself out, and the effects are manifested in the deterioration of the narrator’s mental health. One of the most clear-cut exhibitions of this split personality is towards the end when Tyler forces the narrator to go and detonate a bomb in one of the buildings as an assignment of Project Mayhem. The worrying fact about this is that the narrator actually wants to commit suicide, but his detachment from reality puts the blame on a fictional character that is Tyler. The appearance of Marla on the building and her attempts to discourage the act of suicide fall on deaf ears and the narrator shoots himself in the cheek. This highlights the problems that the narrator faces. By creating a fictional character, the narrator is able to live the dream life of every man. However, the domination of Tyler and the infringement he poses on the freedom of the narrator, make the narrator attempt suicide as a way of escaping Tyler. The belief that Tyler is a real character is so strong for the narrator that no attempts to dissuade him take effect. He ignores Marla’s advice that he and Tyler are the same thing due to his belief.
A crazy person is an individual that is out of touch with reality. The narrator is out of touch with reality by believing that there is another character that just fits the description of the narrator. This imaginary character takes over the life of the narrator and controls his actions, making him live a double life. The somnambulism of the narrator is his greatest weakness since it is responsible for the creation of Tyler and, in turn, the ruination of the narrator.
At the tail end of the novel Fight Club written by Chuck Palahniuk, the narrator is seen in a mental institution where he has sessions with his psychiatrist. According to the narrator’s mind, he is in heaven, and his psychiatrist is ‘God’. This makes the narrator believe that he is dead and that Tyler, his alias, is also dead. However, that is a far cry from the truth. When the narrator is questioned by his psychiatrist about what he remembers, the narrator says that he remembers everything. While this may be taken to mean a variety of things, it is conclusive evidence that the character of Tyler Durden is still very much alive in the narrator’s mind.
The narrator was an individual suffering from a split-personality disorder in which he had created a character by the name Tyler Durden, who was everything the narrator hoped to be. In the creation of this fictional figure, Tyler managed to get plenty of attention from the narrator, and within no time, the narrator was Tyler’s puppet. This affected the personality and mind of the narrator, seeing that many of the actions that he took were taken under the influence of Tyler.
Tyler manages to take full control of the narrator’s life, and this is even manifested in the creation of Fight Club, and invention of ‘pain remedy’. When the narrator ‘fights’ Tyler, both characters confer that fighting helped them both to release themselves emotionally in a better way than support groups did. The result is the creation of Fight Club by Tyler as a means of emotional release. Needless to say, the narrator is greatly influenced into this position by Tyler himself.
Ever since the meeting of Tyler and the narrator, all the actions that the narrator takes are controlled or commanded by Tyler. When Tyler issues commands, the narrator acts- and that is the name of the game. It is, therefore, only befitting that in his dominated state; the narrator hardly ever took an action out of his own will. Having to contend with Tyler’s demands, the narrator is like a dormant seed in a garden.
The narrator is forced to join Project Mayhem by Tyler, and Tyler wastes no time reminding the narrator, along with other members of Project Mayhem that they cannot question him. The authoritative and arguably dictatorial nature of Tyler Durden is the cause of the narrator’s myriad of problems that involve attempted suicide. The only decision that the narrator ever made himself, is that of leaving fight Club, and it is ironic that the narrator seems to have no apparent recollection of this at the hospital.
When the narrator is asked whether he remembers anything, he says he remembers everything. In a life that was lived on Tyler Durden’s terms, it is highly unlikely that the narrator remembers anything to do with what Tyler did. This recollection of events is a sad reminder that the character of Tyler Durden has taken over the mind and life of the narrator. Seeing that the narrator was scarcely ever involved in the decision making processes that bore all the different actions, taken by Tyler and his ‘space monkeys’, he lacks any recollection of what they did together. He suffers as a slave to his own alias, having been imprisoned in his mind by this character that he single-handedly thought out and brought to life. The individual that is actually speaking to the psychiatrist in this conversation is Tyler as he remembers all that he has done.
The importance of this recollection cannot go ignored. Many of the actions that narrator took were influenced by Tyler, and this had a huge impact on the life of the narrator and that of society. By becoming a slave to his own imaginary character, the narrator is a representation of consumerism. The desire of the narrator to be just like Tyler enforces the suppression of his true identity, and the eventual ‘death’ of his self. Just like the narrator, many individuals in society suffer from their consumerist natures. This move reiterates what Palahniuk has been saying all along in the book- that the things one owns eventually own him or her. In this case, the narrator creates Tyler as a model individual and eventually is imprisoned by the same character. This is a classic case of an individual’s ‘property’ owning the individual.
Fight club is a true representation of the consumerist society that, more often than not, falls prey to its own desires and urges. The things that many individuals desire, and work hard to get, end up becoming the masters of the lives of these individuals. They end up feeling sad, lonely, subdued, and in a case such as the narrator’s, forgotten. The words of the narrator to the psychiatrist are the elixir that gives life to the true purpose of the novel. By informing the reader on the true nature of the situation, the reader is made fully aware of the danger posed by his or her consumerist nature.
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Topic title:"Leadership shortfalls in Blue Chips"
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