Fight Club
By: Chuck Palahniuk Jacob, Kevin, and Shaine
Chapters 1-6 3:00-3:55 2/21/2014

  • Go over the plot chapter by chapter
  • Discussion question to start:
    • Takeaways from the book
  • Jake: Work and personal life
    • Discuss his need for these groups
    • Explore the relationship between his personal and professional life

  • Shaine: Flying and closeness to death
    • Wilfred Video
    • Discuss these feelings
    • Discuss how the beginning foreshadows his character?
  • Kevin: Insomnia
    • Sleep mode/ 24/7 tie-in
    • Personal experience
    • Class experience
  • End with a conclusion and questions

There will be no further discussion on this topic as it is breaking the first rule of this topic.


Discussion Question
Chapter 7-12
Herika Kim

Chapter 7

‘The narrator vs Marla vs Tyler’

  • Unlike the narrator’s initial reaction to Marla, his feeling towards to her seems changed. when the narrator ignored Marla to go to support groups but Tyler appeared again and called the police to help her. Do you think the ideal version of the narrator, Tyler is used because of fulfilling his idea of the perfect man to be with Marla in real relationship?

Chapter 8 & Chapter 11

‘The soap’

Tyler gives a long speech, "The first soap was made of heroes. [...] Without their death, their pain, without their sacrifice […] we would have nothing"

  • Do you think the symbolization of soap, including the chapter 8&11, when it is juxtaposed with the fight club, do you think the ‘fight’ and ‘soap’ represents the cleanness and purification of culture?

“Nordstrom’s called… to department stores for $20 a bar”

  • Do you think Tyler, as the salesman at Paper Street Soap Company is for mocking the rich people who is alluded in consumerism?

Chapter 9

‘Lye Kiss’

  • Tyler describes the pain of lye kiss is ‘premature enlightenment’. do you think this refers to the capitalism of human suppression and sacrifice?

'Hitting Rock Bottom'

  • Do you think ‘hitting rock bottom’, the reference of tyler ‘"it's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything’ is representing that he is making sarcastic remarks of the materialism?

Chapter 10


“I have passed an amount of urine into at least one of your many elegant fragrances."'

  • Do you think the tyler’s action of peeing in the soup and pretending peeing in fragrances are the act of rebellion to high defined culture of rich people in the capitalism?

Chapter 12

'10 Rules'

On chapter 12, the narrator mentions ‘Why does Tyler want ten copies of the fight club rules? Hindu cow.

  • Hindu cow is including 10 religious disciplines. do you think they way tyler emphasizes the amount of 10 copies is the religious act?

Live blog, 2/24/2014
Jake Mulkey

Chapter 7: deals a lot with the different interactions between Marla, Tyler, and the narrator.
What are the differences between Tyler and the narrator?
Tyler seems more able to put out there his emotions and do what he wants.
Tyler and Marla relationship, Tyler is indifferent to Marla. The narrator is freaking out Marla's character.He opts into changing into Tyler in order to express his feelings about Marla. The narrator is very bothered personally with Marla.
One reading could be that Marla and Tyler have a sexual relationship and nothing else. Wouldn't be the same relationship as Marla and the narrator, but with Tyler, masculinity and femininity coincide with each other but just merely exist with each other.

Ch 8 and 11 connect together:
chapter 8, soap, chapter 11, fat
Are soap and fight club one in the same in that they both cleanse?
False appearance of soap as being clean and pure, while really it is just leftover, dead fat.
In fight club, you become more disgusting on the outside, while cleansing yourself on the inside. Nothing changes on the inside with soap.
Are they hypocrites? They sell soap to Nordstrom's.

All the chapters connect together in a way.
Chapter 9, the pain of mixing lye and the saliva to create pain as a form of meditation.
Meditation used to resolve stress in his everyday life. If Tyler is trying to break the narrator
For narrator, the Haiku and Zen logic is his only mechanism to stay working at work. Work is only bearable with meditation. Chemical burn represents hitting rock bottom, i.e. making the narrator not want to work anymore.

Chp. 10: Urine in the soup and fragrance
The mockery of capitalism. The people at these events treat them horribly. You pay for the best and expect the best, but in this case the people are catered for by the best and the people with the most money, the fact that Tyler and the narrator aren't tipped urges them to take revenge on the upper class and the people they're hosting. (revenge on capitalism and the wealthy)

. . .

FIGHT CLUB -- Chapters 13-19; 3:00-3:55, February 28, 2014 (Sydney, Julia, Jasmine)
Outline for class on this day (tentative):
  • Discuss burning impressions on readers, introduce outside material?
  • Briefly go over the events of each chapters
  • Discuss significant themes/writing styles that appear; opinions
  • Conclusions/Any last burning questions or remarks

Link to notes for Chapters 20-30, 3:00-3:55pm, March 5th (Sydney and Bonnie)

Zach Bieber
Discussion Leading Day 1

Chapter 17
  • People come to the house and get rejected without question.
  • Each applicant is asked to bring two black shirts, two pairs of black pants, an army surplus mattress, shoes, socks, two pairs of plain underwear, a heavy black coat, a white towel, a white plastic mixing bowl, and five hundred dollars cash so the group doesn’t have to be bothered with burial costs should the applicant die during training.
  • Narrator refers to the applicants as “Space Monkeys” because they serve their basic purpose and do as they’re told without question.

Tyler tells the Narrator to turn applicants away the first time without question. What function do you think this serves? Do you think it’s meant to make the applicant want to join fight club more? How would you respond to this kind of “negative reinforcement?”

Chapter 18
  • Tyler calls the Narrator at work and tells him to go downstairs to the waiting car.
  • The mechanic, a Project Mayhem member, swerves the car into the oncoming traffic as they’re driving.
  • The Narrator wishes he had died after avoided the truck, and tries to direct the car back into traffic.

During all this craziness the Narrator thinks, “I’m nothing in this world compared to Tyler.” Why do you think he would spend his last possible moments comparing himself to Tyler? Do you think Tyler’s plan was to make him dependent on him all along, to make the Narrator feel worthless without him? So why then, does the Narrator constantly compare himself to Tyler?

Chapter 19
  • Narrator questions if that was all an assignment.
  • Mechanic reveals that they’re driving to the medical waste facility to retrieve fat that’s been liposuctioned out.
  • This fat will be used to make soap, and be sold right back to the people who got it sucked out in the first place.

We have the idea of selling the fat back to people who got it removed. Do you think Tyler’s purpose has now shifted from just making soap to getting back at those individuals more or less? Why do you think he’s so angry towards that one group?

Laura Rickrich – Live Blog 3/5/14

Chapter 20
Tyler wants people to want to live their lives, so starts threatening their lives… kind of a wake up to if they were to die then, had they really lived a life they were satisfied with?

Eternal Return:
Are you living your life in a way that you would be happy living the same day for the rest of your life?

Bill Murray’s Ground Hog Day

When the narrator is saying, “You’re not living your life, you’re working this shitty job and letting it take over your life,” he is talking to the readers.
  • Wake up call to the reader

Chapter 21
Narrator searching for Tyler, but everyone is calling him “sir”.
Bartender addresses the narrator as Tyler Durden.
Narrator calls Marla and Marla tells him that he is Tyler.

Chapter 22
We find out the Tyler and the narrator is the same person.
When the narrator is “asleep” Tyler takes over
P. 161 Narrator vs. Tyler (which is the projection… internal struggle/one character fighting for dominance).

Uses narrator’s/Tyler’s disorder as a literary device
Compare the two as separate people, but it is one person.
Really helps to develop the character.
The protagonist and antagonist are one in the same.
Two competing perspectives, at times they blend into each other as they compete… perspectives that are personified as characters.

Chapter 24
Narrator (Tyler) tries to shut down Fight Club.
Realizes that this is not just a game anymore.
Maybe subconsciously he created Fight Club so that it could not be shut down.
It will continue with or without Tyler/narrator.
Textual clues: Fathers and God = authority figure that give you orders that you are not supposed to question.
Maybe for a time his inspiration was trying to get people to live their lives to the fullest, but in the end the rules work themselves out and they do not need a leader figure.
3 Interpretations of the ending of the book:
  1. 1. Cynical – Tyler has now won and is the dominant personality, Tyler is a bad guy. They are worse off.
  2. 2. Competitive between the two, but the narrator doesn’t realize it anymore. People are afraid because Project Mayhem is bad.
  3. 3. Project Mayhem was good, but the only way for it to come full circle is to get rid of Tyler because Tyler became bad.

Technology is now doing a lot of the things to us that we do not like that we associate with work.
Constrains us, makes us obedient and docile.
Increased capacities/ decreased creative freedom
Natural barrier?

In Time
Work = time
Utopia - Beyond mere survival, what would you do if you didn’t have to work anymore?

Fight Club
World can change for the better if we break this obedience/docility
Sleep = Tyler, so Tyler = good
Clean slate, eliminate global debt
Project Mayhem – everyone self-empowered and working together to create a better world
Life is the opposite of work, so they are living

Fight Club and In Time are both creativity ways to address paradox of 24/7

Live Blogging
Rohit Shendge
March 5, 2014

Threatening the life of the people who arn’t actually living

  • The threat to a gas station worker (Raymond Kassle) to either die or pursue his dreams.
  • Philosophy: live lie the way you would want the same today
  • Show him that your worker is taking over your life but also to himself and the reader.
    • Trying to influence the reader

Ch. 21 & 22: The Narrator is searching for Tyler
  • Narrator looking for Tyler in different bars around the country
  • Meet with people that already know him and are part of fight club
  • Why do people think he is Tyler?
  • Talks to Tyler, finds out he is Tyler
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder created Tyler
    • Sever memory explains why Tyler has gone unnoticed
    • Protagonist and Antagonist are the same people
    • Two battling Personalities
      • Id and Super Ego
        • Marla could be the Ego

Ch. 24 Narrator tries to shutdown fight club
  • More than a game
    • Peoples lives are at stake
    • Tyler/Narrator realized that the narrator should not be able to stop fight club later when he changes his mind
    • Fathers and God
      • Authority Figure, five unquestioned order
        • Tyler becomes this
  • The End that wasn’t an end
    • Tyler orchestrated the end
    • Didn’t actually die
    • 1)Cynical: Tyler has now won and surrounds himself with thig
    • 2) Competition still exists but the narrator doesn’t know
      • They both work separately again
      • 3)Positive: Project Mayhem itself is good but Tyler had to die because he became bad
        • Narrator is gone too because the cant be allowed to stop it

Duscussion Leading notes by Rohit Shendge
Fight Club Discussion Leading

1) What is the narrators view on the people in general, as a society? The author uses the term “space monkeys” (ch1) to refer to people because of their cattle like behavior which is lead by orders instead of motivation. What effect does this imagery have on the reader?

2) For someone who hasn’t watched the movies what are some clues in the 1st chapter that Tyler and the narrator are the same person?
  1. We really wont die
  2. This isn’t death we’ll be legend. We wont grow old.
  3. Repetition of “I know this because Tyler knows this”

3) Early in the 2nd chapter the author makes it very clear that everything that matters to anyone will end up in trash. He is also at a cancer support group at the time in which most people are near the end of their life. Finally to sums it up, he says, “On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone will drop to 0”. What was the author’s intention in doing so?17
  1. What do the support group themselves represent? 2nd quote on pg38

4) What does Bob represent? 16
  1. Source of comfort
  2. Bitch tits
  3. Remaining Men Together- testicular cancer group
  4. The judge orders “Extend your right quad, flex and hold”
  5. The men the narrator meets at the "Remaining Men Together" support group are a representation of a cultural loss of masculinity. One of the group's members, Bob, is a former fitness guru whose steroid use has caused him to lose his testicles and in their place develop "bitch-tits" as a result of hormone replacement therapy. While the narrator feels emasculated because of his consumer driven and IKEA furnished life, the men in the support group represent the physical manifestation of emasculation.

5) What does insomnia represent and how does it help to set up the narrator’s character?
  1. Doc said it is a symptom of something deeper
  2. “Everything is so far away, a copy of a copy of a copy”21
  3. Only cure is freedom… from others pain pg.22

6) What does Marla represent? She acts as a counter to the narrator and undoes his “system” for finding freedom and peace that he has built over 2 years. “22”
  1. My lies pg.23
  2. 35-37
  3. a sense of no escape pg38 read the quote she is the truth
  4. Marla is a threat to the narrator's integrity as a storyteller because her role in the film helps reveal to the audience that Tyler and the narrator are the same person.

7) The repetition of “you wake up… 25-27” what does this reperesnt? The you wake ups get vague near the end
  1. I think it represents the narrator waking up as Tyler because this is the same time Tyler Durden in introduced

8) The narrator goes into great detail about the Tylers work as a projectionist, then going on to talk about how “31” What does this splicing represent?
a.For what Tyler inserts is a single, subliminal frame that represents a
moment of masculine prowess. It flickers for an instant, barely
registered, before leaving an afterimage that lingers in the (future)
memories of the audience. In sequence and out of sequence, fleeting and
memorable, framed and frameless, the afterimage serves as the phallic
signature of the novel's charismatic and mischievous anti-hero--and as
such as an appropriate emblem for the text's conception of masculine identity in late-twentieth-century American culture.
b.The changing of two reels seamlessly parallels the transition between the narrator and Tyler

9)The rephrasing of words to fit a social expectance and the the names of the support group is repeated through the book? What does this tell about society?
i. We are pussies that cant handle the truth
b.42 “a dildo never your dildo”
c.35 parasite v. agent
d.list on page 18

10) Any examples of consumerism or anti consumerism that jumped out or examples?
a.Pg 43-44
b.The monologue about your stuff owning you
c. Quote on pg.45 Condiments (designer clothes and furniture) do not add any nutritional value to food (life)they just add flavour (makes it look nice) to existing food (life). Consumerism doesn't add any real substance to life, it only adds an appearance (like a condiment).

11) The narrator makes a point in letting the reader know that people during Fight Club are not the same people they are in other aspects of their life. This is supported by the 1st and 2nd rule of fight club, “You don’t talk about fight club” 48, why is this so important to the narrator and the nature of fight club?
a.Pg49 quotes

b.What is the point of fight club and how is it achieved?
c.To bring back the masculinity in a “generation of men raised by women”50
d.Both tyler and the narrator did not know their fathers well
e.A battle to gain true masculinity 50
  1. 51