Belonging is a universal desire in humanity, but if this imperative for acceptance unsatisfied, then individuals may feel a sense of rejection, isolation or alienation. The play, “As You Like It” by Shakespeare and the film, “Fightclub” by David Fincher explore a range of universal themes through the protagonists from both texts. As You Like It’s Rosalind takes on a different identity in a place of exile in a bid for acceptance on her own terms. In contrast, Fight Club’s nameless narrator - victim of consumerism - is shaped by his society. These characters challenge the social constructions of belonging demanded by their contexts in order to achieve some sort of restoration.
The universal sense of belonging to one’s family is almost always immediate and undeniable due to biological kinship ties. However, the nature of kinship ties can be denied and therefore lead to an individuals’ exclusion; whether it is inflicted by the individual or by others. This is revealed throughout the play in the family schisms between characters such as Duke Senior and Duke Frederick, Orlando and Oliver, Rosalind and Celia. The ongoing conflicts between a few of the characters contradicts the overarching Elizabethan concept of the Chain of Being since everyone has a rightful place and if they fall out of place, things will be in turmoil which is seen at the beginning of the play. There is constant conflict between the brothers and Oliver who “hates nothing more than” his younger brother and hopes to “see an end of him” which demonstrates the separation between the two. Similarly, Duke Frederick banished his brother and taken his brother’s throne that did not rightfully belong to him and “natural order” became disrupted. On the other hand, Rosalind and Celia who are cousins happen to have a more intimate relationship where Celia “loves” and “cannot live out of” Rosalind’s “company”,