Esther’s Space- journey through my life

October 8, 2007

Fight Club (the book) #3

Filed under: p()5t^^()d3,~]\[ — estherspace @ 4:21 pm

My current issue is centered around the ‘moment of perfection’ theory Tyler has introduced in the last few chapters of the book.  This soooo does not gel with the ‘legend’ theory that he was using to shape his actions.

In the first chapter Tyler introduces the idea of becoming a legend, and he states, “Where would Jesus be if no one had written the gospels?” (15).  This obviously introduces the idea that if you don’t do anything spectacular enough to warrant someone else writing it down and then people continuing to re-warrant it, you are nothing.  Yet, at the end of the novel, at the end of chapter 28, the  narrator states, “And in the basement of the Armory Bar, Tyler Durden slips to the floor in a warm jumble.  Tyler Durden the great, who was perfect for one moment, and who waid that a moment is the most you could ever expect from perfection.”  (201).

So, how can these two very different values be reconciled?  In trying to figure this out, I realized that the author had actually foreshadowed the downfall of Tyler in Chapter 3, when he wrote, “for one perfect minute Tyler had sat in the palm of a perfection he’d created for himself.” (33)  Tyler wasn’t meant to be a long-term solution for the narrator’s problem of trying to be with Marla.  (I am curious to know, however, which moment or minute was the perfect one that Tyler created).

Okay, here’s a spectrum of the Tyler affect throughout the novel….

Narrator meets Marla, likes Marla, wants to get to know Marla.

Narrator thinks that  his Ikea-inspired self is not enough to impress Marla.

Narrator creates Tyler, to be everything that he was not.

Marla is attracted to Tyler enough to have sex with him.

It must be noted that even though she was having sex with Tyler,  she also wanted to have conversations with the Narrator.

Since Narrator equates sex with something like love, he gives Tyler more power.

Marla reveals that she might like the Narrator, and he realizes that he and Tyler are different people

In order to be with Marla, the Narrator has to destroy Tyler.

So, in conclusion, can it be said that the Narrator created Tyler as a means of ‘finding’ the ‘manly’ part of himself that he thought would appeal to Marla, but then discovers that Tyler isn’t necessarily what she wants, and that, indeed, she and the Narrator could have a relationship.  I guess this kind of changes the overall effect of the book, since it definitely seems to be trying to deal with a ‘crisis of masculinity’.  Perhaps this ending is suggesting that the crisis is not as great as initially feared, but that this initial fear will make men go crazy trying to find their ‘lost’ manliness.


1 Comment »

  1. I agree that Tyler does contradict himself in his views of perfection and being remembered. On the one hand, part of his dogma is that perfection is unattainable and one of the problems of society is the never ending desire of people to achieve perfection. But on the other hand, the grand finale of Project Mayhem, is meant to make him a legend who is forever remembered. It would appear he is going against his own ideals.

    I like your time line involving the narrator, Tyler, and Marla. For some reason the narrator was attracted to Marla, but knew that she would never be attracted to him. So the narrator creates Tyler, who Marla has a physical attraction to. But once the narrator realizes that he is good enough to have Marla, it’s time for Tyler to go. As you wrote, this speaks to the idea of manliness and a man feeling that he isn’t enough of a man to attract a woman, so he acts the part of what he considers to be a man in order to win her affections.

    Comment by Ryan — October 9, 2007 @ 12:34 pm

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