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Powell English B1a, MW 3:15 ± 5:20 15 March 2011 Tyler Durden: The Epitome of Fight Club When it comes to the character of Tyler Durden, there are many facets of his personality. This is not saying that his personality can be referred to as a diamond, in terms of its alluring nature and sparkling characteristics, but in the sense that a jewel has many faces and many angles. The character of Tyler Durden truly defines the story of Fight Club. All throughout Fight Club, it is seen that he is practically idolized by every single character he comes in contact with. What could make him so attractive? His outlook on life, possibly. Looking at Maslowe¶s Hierarchy of Needs, Tyler¶s ultimate goal is to achieve self-actualization, where he is fully aware of who he is, and what purpose he serves in life. It is interesting to see that the author, Chuck Palahniuk,carefully chose the name of this character. An analysis of the name Tyler Durden from an unknown published analysis of this bookreveals that in antiquated English, the name ³Tyler´ means ³gatekeeper´ or ³housebuilder´, or an even older translation as ³layer of bricks´. ³Durden´ has the root meaning ³hard´, as in ³durable´, both which are indicative of his personality (Unknown 3). This is specifically seen in his ability to create binding relationships: taking each person and assigning them with one specific purpose. ³« µDon¶t bother them. They all know what to do. It¶s part of Project Mayhem. No one guy understands the whole plan, but each guy is trained to do one simple task perfectly¶´ (Palahniuk 130). The way he is portrayed in the story can be defined as adventurous, relatable, and highly intelligent, and at the same time, painful and slightly insane.
the Paper Street Soap Company.he constantly places himself in dangerous situations. He is cynical. We have a great revolution against the culture. There is a bomb that is set to go off at a certain time. we see him on top of this skyscraper. For instance. and a situation in which skills and preparation are then tested. and Project Mayhem. and the adrenaline rush allows him to experience whether or not his skills will help him pass some internal test within himself. but because of his charisma. particularly in the creation of his groups: fight club.JethroRothe-Kushel. he feels that will bring him to a deeper spiritual realization. but we see his desire for adventure peaking at this point in the story. His search for a higher spiritual calling justifies his need for adventure. In death we become heroes´ (Palahniuk 178). ready to fire. and he has a pistol in his mouth. or a great depression.Mizell2 An adventure is characterized by adrenaline. and gain their trust very quickly. In literally flirting with death. but we do. When the term ³relatable´ is used. just to see if he will survive. strong. we have a great war of the sprit. The great depression is our lives. and forthright´ (RotheKushel 1) But it seems to go even beyond that. Thus. people find it incredibly easy to follow. He finds it easy to quickly build connections with people on the most basic levels. The endeavors that he engages in puts himself in extreme situations. talking. We have a spiritual depression´ (Palahniuk 149). Tyler is a walking. in the beginning and end of the novel. Tyler¶s adventurous spirit is seen throughout this story. a writer for The Film Journal describes Tyler as this: ³Tyler Durden is everything the narrator wishes he could be. Another example would be this: ³We don¶t have a great war in our generation. cultural commentator. The depth of the relationships that he builds with . We all know that there is no way he can survive this without intervention. and trust him that he will lead them to where they want to be. ³Only in death will we have our own names since only in death are we no longer a part of the effort. it¶s not in the sense that he is easy to connect with. an element of danger.
you can mix equal parts of gasoline and diet cola. and his ability to recall such seemingly obscure information. Remember your high school chemistry¶« It¶s hard to imagine Tyler in Boy Scouts´ (Palahniuk 68). how is Tyler¶s character considered painful? Part of this was eluded to when his relatable nature was being explained. We can see throughout the story his ingenuity. Tyler seems to think that this is how the ultimate goal of all human progress is reached. like a grown-up Boy Scout. without thought or question. µUse a little imagination. in which he makes soap out of fat that he has gleaned from other people. Three. He wants the Narrator to realize that even though this concept may be disturbing. with Marla Singer. and sold for a ridiculous amount of profit. The Narrator has a certain reflection on this concept: ³Tyler says. He breaks these men down. He is very resourceful.Tyler shows the Narrator how soap was made through the suffering and sacrifice of human beings. Remember all that pioneer shit they taught you in Boy Scouts. you can mix equal parts of gasoline and frozen orange juice concentrate.Mizell3 the narrator. are almost to the point of brain-washing. to where they feel . the end solution is a broken man. combined with the intuitive and creative ways of destruction. you can dissolve crumbled cat litter in gasoline until the mixture is thick´ (Palahnuik 13). Two. This is just one of the many examples of his ingenuity. One. Because of the speed of his relationship-building skills and the destructive tendencies of his adventures. The Paper Street Soap Company is one of the most creative projects he inspired. These people follow him blindly. and with the other men involved in Project Mayhem. One example of Tyler¶s extensive knowledge from the book is this: ³The three ways to make napalm. mixed with herbs for scent. it is nevertheless a fact of life (Unknown 7). Every one of the groups that he starts is representations of the different aspects of his intelligence. Now. The intelligent nature of Tyler Durden is one of the most prominent features of his personality.
where he has been more idolized and revered rather than scorned or portrayed in a negative light. A point that could be argued is that he is truly mentally impaired when it comes to his decision-making skills. without even the consideration of their own life. Regardless of this. Even the narrator cannot remain morally neutral´ (Kavadlo 13). µI am the toxic waste by-product of God¶s creation. as well as the Narrator in the story.Mizell4 even lower than dirt: ³ µI am the all-singing. It would explain the frequency and intensity of his actions. and people from getting seriously injured or possibly killed.¶ the space monkey tells the mirror. Oddly enough. If Tyler asked for something to be done. good for nothing other than simply following orders.The type of crimes that Tyler engages in tends to make the jaw of the reader drop. all-dancing crap of this world. in order to prevent chaos from reigning. the men will follow him blindly. the narrator understands that Tyler is an entity almost separate from himself. thus creating something of a prison in the person¶s mind. by the end. who may identify with his position but also recoil. Sanity is one thing that is questioned by people when it comes to Tyler Durden. the character of Tyler Durden is completely opposed to societal rules and regulations. he feels that there is a need for rules in fight club.¶´ (Palahniuk 167) At that point. there have been examples of Tyler¶s influence seen in modern society. Jesse Kavadlo comments on this in her entry in a reflective literature web journal calledStirrings Still: ³Tyler Durden¶s indifference to suffering should not transfer onto the reader. that is almost exactly what Project Mayhem almost turns into. However. but is that part of his persona aware of the enormity of his actions?Interestingly enough. at the acts of violence. The Narrator even refers to them as ³space monkeys´. Sure. He feels that they inhibit the natural order of humanity. there would be many willing hands to readily do his bidding. .
And if you never know your father. a writer for the New York Times has this to say.(Palahnuik140-141) There is a theory that possiblyTyler¶s lack of connection with God and religion could be due to a lack of the male parental figure in his life. what do you believe about God? [..´ (Fairfax 1). This would explain the severity of the crimes he and Project Mayhem commit. It is possible that the individuals involved in fight club . your father is your model for God. the character of Tyler Durden can hold a charismatic sway over his listeners? It is possible.. or is it possible that even existing in fiction.] is you spend your life searching for a father and God. Already we can see how he tends to want to take the place of God in his life: If you're male and you're Christian and living in America. and claimed that he was the inspiration for the bombing of a local coffee shop. Another point could be that Tyler Durden is perfectly sane..] is the possibility that God doesn't like you. What you have to consider [.. Was the youth involved in the bombing insane. it seems like Tyler was already in this god-like state of mind before he and the Narrator met. The Sydney Sun Herald reported this story about a year and a half ago: ³The 2009 explosion near the Guggenheim Museum shattered the store's windows but caused no injuries. but whether or not he even cares about the magnitude of his actions can be debated. Could be.] What you end up doing [. if your father bails out or dies or is never at home.Mizell5 There was a youth in Australia who took the actions of Tyler to heart. God hates us. The tendency would be to concur with this statement. for most of the readers.. engage in bare-knuckle brawls. in reference to Brad Pitt¶s portrayal of Tyler Durden: ³an übermensch in a red leather jacket. Authorities say Shaw was trying to emulate the anticonsumerist character Tyler Durden from the 1999 film about a secret fight club.. antisocial vandalism and outright revolutionary terrorism´ (Lim AR18). This is not the worst thing that can happen. As the story goes on. Dennis Lim.
thus allowing him to truly become what this story is all about: self-actualization. and very adventurous. cast aside. easily trusted. he is very dangerous. But. and maybe not entirely sane. great at building relationships. Marla Singer. which manifests through the aggressive fighting they partake in at fight club meetings. the fact cannot be denied that Tyler¶s personality has many faces. like that of a well-cut jewel. . the character of Tyler Durden is very diverse. However. In conclusion. we can see that the character of Tyler Durden was carefully constructed by the author. We see his aspects of a ³house-builder´ all throughout the story with the Narrator.Mizell6 and Project Mayhem may be feeling that they are also the 'unwanted children' also. ignored. and neglected by all father figures in their lives (Rothe-Kushel 8). As the story is read. as well as the types of actions they engage in with Project Mayhem. self-destructive. It has been shown that he is highly intelligent. This gave them a sense of hostility towards authority figures. and the other men involved in fight club.
³Fight Club: A Ritual Cure for the Spiritual Ailment of American Masculinity. 2011. (Fall/Winter 2005). "The Fiction of Self-destruction: Chuck Palahniuk. Web.com. Jesse. Final Word Count: 2. 2010. John. 14 Mar.: AR18. Fairfax. Web. Kavadlo. 1996. 28 Feb. Print.W. 2011. 28 Feb.freeonlineresearchpapers. New York ed. Print. ³¶Fight Club¶ Fight Goes On. ³Fight Club Arsonist.054 . 2002.´ The Film Journal (2002). Palahniuk.´ The New York Times 08 Nov. Web. Stirrings Still: The International Journal of Existential Literature. Jethro. ³Reading in-between the lines: An analysis of Fight Club´. Closet Moralist". Dennis. 2009. Web. 2. 2011. www. Fight Club. New York: W.2. Rothe-Kushel.Mizell7 Works Cited Lim. Chuck.´ The Sydney Sun Herald 19 Sept. Norton. 28 Feb. 2011.
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