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Fight Club

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The movie Fight Club made a great achievement in the film industry, and significantly depicted the social system of the late 20th century. According to most of the reviewers, the success of the film lies behind the fact that almost every American man over 25-years of age is going to inevitably see some of himself in the movie: the frustration, the confusion, the anger at living in a culture where the old rules have broken down and one makes his way with so many fewer cultural cues and guideposts.

At heart Fight Club is really a dark parody about consumerist discontent. First of all Fight Club was one of the most direct depictions of modern society. We can visualize the clear criticisms of the movie from the words of Jamey Hughton, " 'Fight Club' is the kind of breathless experience that chews you up, spits you out, and leaves your senses jaded and disorientated with exhilaration." Secondly, Fight Club was a real evolution of the modern ideals, the emergence of modern atomized individuals and consequently urban alienation. Finally, the movie points out male-female roles and the place of violence in the male identity. Critic, Gary Crowdus, says it best by writing, "Fight Club members have become so physically impassive, so emotionally anesthetized, and so spiritually numb, that it takes a broken nose, a split lip, or a few cracked ribs to reawaken their deadened nervous systems and to provide them with a meaningful sense of male identity" (46).

The biggest aspect of the movie was on modern society, which has recently turned out to be consumerism. During the movie this new trend is symbolized by the replica of Tyler Durden, "You are not your job." This dialogue was completely dedicated to the shaping power of the consumer culture. The movie is about what happens when a world defines you by nothing but one's job, when advertising turns you into a slave bowing at a mountain of things that make you uneasy about your lack of physical perfection determined by consumerism, as displayed in the scene where Tyler asks, after seeing a Calvin Kline advertisement, "is this what a man is supposed to look like?" with simultaneous irony and sincerity, of the self-perceived emasculation of working-class white men, and how much money you do not have and how famous you aren't. It is about what happens when we are hit by the fact that our lives lack uniqueness; a uniqueness that we are constantly told we gained through the enculturation process. At that part Fincher was underlying the unseen patterns of society, we are not free because we are not free to choose. Sure there are choices in front of us but the results are determined by the supreme power of hegemony, gain more money to obtain acceptance from society. However, that was not the only depiction.

During the movie the director took us to the realm of the co-modification, especially in the scene where the narrator buys his new furniture that his cooperates make. The scene was very impressive because it made us feel the pace of consumption and the impacts of advertisement in the late 20th century, which are offering us the impossible: fame, beauty, wealth, immortality, life without pain, on consumption patterns. The narrator looks at Ikea catalogs and wonders what dinner set defines him as a person. The narrator was consuming at the same speed with the advertisement and was not able to stop himself, even though he hardly needed the possessions he bought. At that point we see the emergence of the Marx concept, commodity fetishism which basically states, "Economists forget the source of the value of commodities--human labor--and describe the world as if coats or boots trade with linen independently of human agency. They fail to see that only capitalist production treats goods in this way, and thus mystifies real social relations" (McLellan 439). Moreover, as the narrator says, "now I have everything that a middle class man can," he points out that the whole event was nothing more than conspicuous consumption.

After the improvement of the new industrial era and consequently the invention of new transportation facilities, the modern society created it's own atomized single individual, which is a logical necessity of the system itself. The character of the narrator, who is bored with his white-collar job and his mail orders, was the typical example of the event. The emphasis on the world in the scenes during travel, about foods and about passengers, shows the loss in the importance of the individual, apart from the context determined by the society itself. When the narrator was talking about his job during the flight he acknowledged that humans are nothing but numbers, showed in the statistics. "You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You are the same decaying organic matter as everyone else, and we are all part of the same compost pile... Our culture has made us

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