Book Analysis Essay Examples

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Book Analysis: The Enigma That Is the Fight Club


    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.

   
Works Cited
Palahniuk, Chuck. Fight Club. New York: W.W. Norton & Co, 1996. Print.