Fight Club - Novel

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Formative Assessment: Write a 300-500 word appreciation of one or more books you have read. Of all the books I have read I have never felt more engaged in a story as much as I have whilst reading Fight Club, which was first published in 1996 and written by Chuck Palahniuk. It tells the story of an unnamed narrator suffering from insomnia. His doctor refuses to give him medication and instead suggests he attends a support group for testicular cancer to experience what real suffering looks like. After fooling the group into believing he is also a victim, he becomes addicted to all kinds of support groups when he realises it cures his insomnia temporarily. During the course of the story the narrator meets a man named Tyler Durden and moves in with him when his apartment is blown up in a gas explosion. The narrator stops going to the support meetings and the two men start ‘fight club’, where men come to fight each other and escape their normal lives. Tyler quickly becomes the leader of fight club and turns it into an anti-consumerist, anti-corporate terrorist organisation known as ‘Project Mayhem’. My favourite quote from the novel deals with the running theme of consumerism: “It’s only after you’ve lost everything,” Tyler says, “that you’re free to do anything.”[1] Normally the term ‘losing everything’ would obviously carry with it negative connotations but Tyler means that when a person rids themselves of all their material possessions it is only then that they are truly free. [2] These ideas of Tyler’s ultimately lead to him creating ‘Project Mayhem’ in order to bring down civilisation. “We’re going to break up civilisation so we can make something better out of the world”[3] Another theme running throughout the book is that of masculinity and emasculation. “What you see at fight club is a generation of
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