A literary Analysis on the book "Fight Club"by Chuck Palahniuk

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Fiction refers to the imagination aspect incorporated in several literary works. Imagination plays integral role literature as it sheds more light on the intentions of the author as well as giving an insight into the setting as well as other factors such as the diverse moods employed in work. The book ‘Fight Club’ by Chuck Palahniuk highlights the activities surrounding the narrator and Tyler, a prominent character in the book. Despite other characters coming into play such as Marla, the two; the narrator and Tyler steer the course of the book. Tyler makes ends meet by working as a soap maker while the narrator is an office worker who performs the role of recall campaign coordinator (King 366). The events in the book ‘Fight Club’ depict its name as there are several instances where the characters engage in fights. Chuck Palahniuk has adequately utilized the use of fiction in his work as it has played a significant role in underscoring his originality of thoughts as well as a distinct writing style embraced. All in all, Chuck's book portrays diverse forms of fiction embraced throughout his work such as; based on realism, romance, and fantasy. Thus, the paper will address the diverse forms of fiction present in Chuck Palahniuk’s book ‘Fight Club.’

Forms of fictions used in the Book ‘Fight Club’ by Chuck Palahniuk

Fiction based on realism

Although fictions are imaginations, some depict a reality setting in the manner in which they are set (Zackheim). The narrator in the book ‘Fight Club’ underlines that a person can only talk in vowels in an event where the gun is placed in his mouth and the barrel between his teeth. For instance, the text underlines ‘With the gun stuck in your mouth and the barrel between your teeth, you can only talk in vowels’ (Palahniuk 3). In reality, an individual having a gun placed in his mouth cannot talk in a coherent manner. The narrator underlines the fact that placing a gun in one’s mouth leaves little room for freedom even to talk. Moreover, the narrator and Tyler shed some light on the mechanisms involved in making a silencer as they underline the adequate steps to ensure the speed of the bullet supersedes the sound produced. For instance, Chuck denotes ‘To make a silencer, you must drill holes on the barrel of a gun, a lot of holes. This makes the gas escape and slows the bullet below the speed of sound. You drill the holes wrong, and the gun blows your hand’ (Palahniuk 3). In as much as a silencer reduces the sound produced by a gun and it involves making holes on the barrel of a gun, the holes are made using an expertise and a machine not available to everyone. Moreover, most of the silencer apparatus are placed on the weapons as extensions rather than literal addition of the holes to release the gas, thus pointing at the fiction though it gives a reality insight (King 369).

Fictions based on erotic settings

The narrator underlines the fact that Chloe had a series of pornographic movies in her apartment. The pornographic film serves the role of igniting her sexual urge as well as making her pony and quenching the erotic desires that harbored her mind time and again. Moreover, Chloe provides an insight into the activities that occurred in the prisons where women would screw any man who dared to climb on top. The prospect of screwing men on a regular basis at any given time is an erotic fiction employed by Chuck as Chloe uses the platform as a means to seduce the narrator into having sex with her (Palahniuk 10). Moreover, Chloe has a collection of several pornographic tools which serve as her paraphernalia for ensuring men who visit her house screws her.

The narrator has a desire to court the attention of Marla by making her his wife. Moreover, she develops feelings of sexual attachment to Marla, a fact that makes her angered by the prospect that she slept with Tayler even after she had dreamt of having a coital activity with her. For instance, the narrator perceives the coital relationship between Tyler and Marla as a sign of bad luck in his life (Palahniuk 42). The erotic fiction is attributable to the fact that he had already built castles in air concerning making love to Marla. The erotic fiction plays a significant role as it underlines the perceptions of the narrator with regards to his belief as to why he was never in a position to enjoy the company of the support groups as well as his friendship with Tyler anymore.    

Fictions based on fantasy

Chuck has incorporated the fantasy fictions in his work as underlined by the narrator and Chloe’s imagination concerning the healing yet floating light. The narrator highlights ‘Chloe talked us up to the hill to the palace of seven doors. Eyes closed, we imagined our pain as a ball of white healing light floating around our feet and rising around our waist and our chest’ (Palahniuk 10). The narrator together with Chloe create imaginations of things that are non-existent. Nevertheless, the fantasy proves vital as it brings a clear picture of the meditation the characters were going through. Similarly, chuck incorporation of the snow-covered floor of the cave, as well as the talking penguin during the meditation, unfolds the use of the fantasy fiction in the book ‘Fight Club.’ The narrator fantasizes about calling Marla in the event where there was a phone in heaven and make a call without minding the aspect of hanging up. He underscores that he would not love to return to earth (Palahniuk 155).

            The narrator opts to attend the group settings in a bid to be comforted time and again. He does forge his health condition in an attempt to quench his fantasies about craving and seeking for comfort as well as the bond of the group settings (Palahniuk 8). Similarly, the narrator purports that everywhere he visits, the people are so eager to address him with a connotation that portrays a sense of respect accorded. For instance, he underlines that the people he meets address him as ‘sir’ though they know little about him (King 380). 

Aspects of fights are common in the book depict fantasy elements. For instance, the narrator points at the prospect that a mere touch on an individual led to a tussle as he denotes; ‘Last week I tapped a guy, and he and I got on a list of fights’ (Palahniuk 35). In a standard setting, touch does not guarantee fight even if an individual is fierce. As a result, Chuck adequately achieves the ability with the objective of pinpointing the existence of several battles in the club as it relates to the title of the book. The use of the fantasy fiction proves vital in the attainment of the correlation between the content of the book and its central theme (Gaut 3). Consequently, the fantasy fiction evident underscores the struggle that existed between the classes in the society embraced by Chuck Palihniuk.

Fiction based on horror

Horror fiction is attributable to the perceptions of the reader or the audience with regards to a given literary work, play or a film. Therefore, the symbolism, context, and stylistics used are vital in exhibiting elements of horror (Gaut 4). ‘With the gun stuck in your mouth and the barrel between your teeth, you can only talk in vowels. Another window blows out of the building; glass sprays out, a sparkling flock of pigeon style and then a dark wooden desk pushed by the Mischief Committee emerges inch by inch from the side of the building until the desk tilts and slides’ (Palahniuk 4). The prose embraced by Chuck unveil the occurrence of the events in a wicked way. Moreover, the clear and straightforward use of the language evokes elements of horror in the book.

Elements of fiction and their usage

Characterization of the book

The characters in the book ‘Club Fight’ depict fictional aspects. The characterization employed underlines elements of fiction. The book starts by emphasizing the fact that the narrator has a vast knowledge relating to warfare paraphernalia. For instance, he denotes that he is in a position to tell the type of gun by tasting the barrel using his tongue (King 371). The characterization employed is fictitious since giving an insight concerning the nature of a weapon using the tongue is more mythical and imaginative than reality. Consequently, the narrator seems to have a strong bond with Tyler yet they are enemies. They conspire to undertake heinous deeds together that are aimed at deceiving the bosses regarding their work ordeals (Palahniuk 37).

On the other hand, Chuck draws the character of the narrator as a person with two personalities; a physical resemblance to Tyler but different magnitude as far as nature is concerned. For example, other characters in the book address the narrator as Tyler Dresden due to the physical resemblance. It is fictitious to have two different people with the various physique and looks to have a similar physical appearance with one of them borrowing the morphology of the other at will. The characters in the ‘Fight Club’ fight at will without an adequate agenda. For instance, though the narrator barely touched an individual at the club, a struggle ensued (Jordisson). The fictitious characters used in the book have been used as a mechanism for achieving the objective of the author as well as come up with a compelling yet attractive work for the readers. As a result, it has made the story comical and thrilling.  

Setting and the Plot of the book

The book is set in a rather metropolitan environment with aspects of the airport and other facilities available in cities. The city has two different sets of people; the haves and the have-nots. For instance, the haves represent a fraction of the population that are well off and live a lavish life. on the other hand, the have-nots live an impoverish life as the wallow in poverty. The main character as underlined by the book generally lives a secretive life full of changing outlooks as he appears to be Tyler at times (Jordisson). The setting is fictitious as it relates to an environment where people have access to guns and are in a position to tell types of guns by mere taste of the tongue yet they never undertake jobs that point at continuous interaction with the paraphernalia.

 In the book, the people believed the way to moving into the next social class is attributable to engaging in warfare. Thus, the ‘Fight Club’ highlights both the activities undertaken by a warfare group as well as the events that occur in a fight club. The plot of the book is fictitious as the people a club where the people engage in warfare for ensuring there is a balance in the social class of the people does not have rules. On the contrary, the fight club has rules that govern the fights that occur at the place (King 374). The fights involve people of the same class, yet they underline the fact that it is meant for the liberation of the people as far as moving from one social class is concerned. The whole ordeal is fictitious as fighting to merit a chance to belong to a given social class involves monetary and economic aspects rather than little struggle involving the use of one’s energy and infliction of pain to one another. The fictitious setting and the plot of the book have achieved a milestone in underlining the tone and the diverse moods in the book. Moreover, the setting has played an integral role in the formation of imagery in the book, an element that not only thrills but also captivates the reader’s attention.

In conclusion, the book ‘Fight Club’ represents the activities that occur about attaining a social-class upgrade. The book embodies several forms of fiction as based on realism, horror, and fantasy. The author, Chuck has achieved his objective with regards to the book by the embracing the elements of the invention in his book. Elements of fiction have played a pivotal role such as setting the mood and tone of the book. The use of fantasies in literary works has received a positive criticism over the years as they captivate the minds of the readers and enhance relationships to the real world.  


Works Cited

Gaut, Berys. "THE ENJOYMENT THEORY OF HORROR: A RESPONSE TO CARROLL."British Journal of Aesthetic (1995): 1-6. Document.

Jordisson, Sam. "First rule of Fight Club: no one talks about the quality of the writing."20 December 2016. The Guardian. Document. 5 April 2018.

King, Claire Sisco. "It Cuts Both Ways: Fight Club, Masculinity, And Abject Hegemony."Communication & Critical/Cultural Studies. (2012): 366-385. Document.

Palahniuk, Chuck. Fight Club. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1996. Document.

Zackheim, P. S. & Zackheim, A. "Exploring the different types of Fiction."13 January 2018. Dummies.com. Document. 3 April 2018.

December 12, 2023

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