Fight psychic connection. This quote always shows that

Fight
Club by Chuck Palahniuk, is a powerful novel that shows how strong and
complex the human mind actually is.  This
novel shows how the brain is capable of convincing itself that imaginary things
are real. The narrator of the novel and the other main character, Tyler, are a
perfect representation of this. These two characters show how the conscious and
unconscious mind can be so different. The author takes the audience on a psychological
journey, exploring the narrator’s conscious mind as well as his alter-ego
character, or his unconscious mind. This novel explores the idea that
consumerism can drive a person to insanity, willing to do whatever it takes to
destroy society, including creating a strong alter ego to perform actions one
normally cannot.

            In
the beginning of the book, the audience meets the narrator on the top of a
building with a gun in his throat. The unnamed narrator explains that the
person holding the gun, Tyler, has been his best friend for a long time. It is
later learned that the building they are standing on is going to explode from a
bomb made of fuming nitric acid. The narrator states, “I know this because
Tyler knows this” (Palahniuk 12). This phrase is used many times throughout the
book, and is the reader’s first hint at Tyler and the narrator having a psychic
connection. This quote always shows that Tyler is more powerful than the
narrator, and Tyler may act as a teacher or mentor to him.

            The
author explains that the narrator lives a boring corporate lifestyle focused on
consumerism. The reader then learns he is suffering from insomnia, the only way
he can sleep is attending support groups. The support groups allow him to
express his emotions and in return, sleep at night. The narrator meets Tyler on
vacation, and begins living with him after learning his home had been
destroyed. Tyler begins having sexual relations with a woman named Marla, who
the narrator had met at the support groups. Tyler pulled this off because he is
much more confident and stronger than the narrator.

            The
majority of the book convinces the reader that the narrator and Tyler are two
separate people who are completely opposite, just living intersecting lives.
Later it is learned that they are not different, Tyler is the narrator’s
alter-ego. It is very challenging for him to grasp the concept that he is
indeed Tyler, he denies it until Marla explains, “you are, Tyler” (Palahniuk 174).  The narrator is so bored with his average
life, he imagines who he wants to be as a completely different person.   “I love everything about Tyler Durden, his
courage and his smarts. His nerve. Tyler is funny and charming and forceful and
independent, and men look up to him and expect him to change their world. Tyler
is capable and free, and I am not.” (Palahniuk 174). This quote explains how
the narrator is completely obsessed with Tyler, he is everything the narrator
aspires to be, the complete opposite of his actual self. Tyler is devious,
strong, attractive, confident, and daring, all the qualities the narrator
believes he does not have.

            The
split personality the narrator seems to have is best explained by Sigmund
Freud, a famous psychoanalyst. According to the Article “The Conscious and
Unconscious Mind” by Kendra Cherry, Freud introduced the idea of the conscious
and unconscious mind. Freud explained his theory by relating it to an iceberg,
the conscious mind is the tip of the ice that is visible while the unconscious
mind is the biggest part of the iceberg, even though it is underwater and not
visible. The psychoanalyst believed that the unconscious mind is made up of
memories, feelings, and thoughts that cause too much pain for conscious
awareness.  Although people are not aware
of their unconscious minds, it is still thought to control personalities and
behaviors. An example of this would be how the narrator is usually only able to
access his unconscious mind while he is asleep. 
Tyler completely takes over his mind while he is asleep, hence being
part of his unconscious mind. The narrator’s alter ego is necessary for him to
express his feelings towards society.

            The
narrator imagines Tyler because of his need to take his anger out on society.
Tyler had to be imagined because the narrator did not believe he had the
qualities to rebel and express his feelings. Although the narrator and Tyler
are the same person, the narrator feels safe listening to Tyler who he believes
is much stronger than him. The rise of cultural consumerism drives him to want
to destroy society, which he believes cannot be done without Tyler. At the end
of the novel, the narrator states “we’re going to break up civilization so we
can make something better out of the world” (Palahniuk 208).  Society had become so materialized and
meaningless, people, including the narrator, were living pointless lives. To
ensure life was not pointless anymore, Tyler and the narrator must experience
pain. They soon realized, they could not completely experience pain without
administering pain to others. This shows how society is problematic and why it
had such a large effect on the narrator.

            Fight Club is relevant today because of
the idea of consumerism. Consumerism is mentioned in the novel many times and
leads the narrator to practically lose his own mind. A member of the Fight Club
explains to the other members, “you have a class of young strong men and women,
and they want to give their lives to something. Advertising has these people
chasing cars and clothes they don’t need. Generations have been working in jobs
they hate, just so they can buy what they don’t really need. We don’t have a
great war in our generation, or great depression, but we do, we have a great
war of the spirit. We have a great revolution against the culture. The great
depression is our lives. We have a spiritual depression” (Palahniuk 149). This
quote explains how people are not living for the right reasons. People in
modern day society work depressing jobs just so they can afford material items
they believe will fill a void in their life. David Harsanyi, an author for the
Federalist, believes Fight Club is
still relevant because “it’s about boredom, another unappreciated and
destructive human condition (Harsanyi).” As society becomes more and more
driven by consumerism, this novel reminds its readers that this type of
lifestyle can lead to insanity.

            Chuck
Palahniuk shows how the conscious and unconscious mind work together to form a
person, even if that person is unaware of his or hers unconscious mind. When the
narrator became aware of his unconscious mind, it was too late and Tyler had
already gained control of him. This is a very interesting concept because of
the fact that the narrator and Tyler are the same person. Palahniuk alludes to
the idea that consumerism in society is what lead the narrator’s unconscious to
take over, thus going insane.

            

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