First edition cover
|Cover artist||Jacket design by Michael Ian Kaye|
Photograph by Melissa Hayden
Soap by Proverbial Inc. Charles Michael "Chuck" Palahniuk (ˈpɑːlənɪk born February 21 1962) is an American Transgressional fiction Novelist
|Publisher||W. W. Norton & Company|
|Publication date||August 1996|
|Media type||Print (hardcover, paperback, & library binding) & audio cassette|
|Pages||208 pp (first edition, hardcover)|
|ISBN||ISBN 0-393-03976-5 (first edition, hardcover)|
Fight Club (1996) is the first published novel by American author Chuck Palahniuk. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States A novel (from Italian novella, Spanish novela, French nouvelle for "new" "news" or "short story Publishing is the process of production and dissemination of Literature or Information &ndash the activity of making information available for public view W W Norton & Company is an American book publishing company that has remained independent since its founding A hardcover (or hardback or hardbound) is a Book bound with rigid protective covers (typically of cardboard covered with Cloth Paperback, softback, or softcover describe and refer to a Book by the nature of its binding. A novel (from Italian novella, Spanish novela, French nouvelle for "new" "news" or "short story The United States of America —commonly referred to as the An author is defined both as "the person who originates or gives existence to anything" and that authorship determines responsibility for what is created Charles Michael "Chuck" Palahniuk (ˈpɑːlənɪk born February 21 1962) is an American Transgressional fiction Novelist The plot is based on an unnamed protagonist who struggles with his growing discomfort with consumerism and changes in the state of masculinity in American culture. The Protagonist or main character is the central figure of a story. Consumerism is the equation of personal Happiness with the purchase of material possessions and consumption. The development of the culture of the United States of America — music, cinema, dance, architecture, literature, poetry In an attempt to overcome this, he creates an underground fighting club as a radical form of psychotherapy. The ComBat was an Aluminium Cricket bat and the subject of an incident that occurred at the WACA cricket ground in Perth in December 1979. Psychotherapy is an Interpersonal, relational intervention used by trained psychotherapists to aid clients in problems of living It was made into a movie of the same name in 1999 by director David Fincher. Fight Club is a 1999 American feature film adaptation of the 1996 novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk, adapted by David Leo Fincher (born August 28, 1962) is an American film and Music video director known for his dark and stylish portraits of The movie became a pop culture phenomenon. In the wake of the film's popularity, the novel has become a target of criticism, mainly for its explicit depictions of violence. Graphic violence is the depiction of especially vivid brutal and realistic acts of violence in visual media such as Literature, Film, Television
When Palahniuk made his first attempt at publishing a novel (Invisible Monsters), publishers rejected it for being too disturbing. Invisible Monsters is a Novel by Chuck Palahniuk, published in 1999. This led him to work on Fight Club, which he wrote as an attempt to disturb the publishers even more for rejecting him. Palahniuk wrote this story while working as a diesel mechanic for Freightliner. After initially publishing it as a short story (which became chapter 6 of the novel) in the compilation Pursuit of Happiness, Palahniuk expanded it into a full novel, which, contrary to what he expected, the publisher was willing to publish.  While the original, hardcover edition of the book received positive reviews and some awards, it had a short shelf life. Nevertheless, the book had made its way to Hollywood, where interest in adapting it to film was growing. It was eventually adapted in 1999 by screenwriter Jim Uhls and director David Fincher. Jim Uhls born as James Walter Uhls ( 1957) is an American Scriptwriter who rose to fame with his script adaptation of the critically acclaimed novel David Leo Fincher (born August 28, 1962) is an American film and Music video director known for his dark and stylish portraits of The film was a box-office disappointment (although it was #1 at the U. S. box office in its first weekend and critical reaction was mostly favorable), but a cult following soon emerged after the release of the film on DVD. A cult film is a Film that has acquired a highly devoted but relatively small group of fans. As a result of the film, the original hardcover edition became a collector's item.  This film is now popularly considered to be an uncompromising critique of humanity's loss of identity through mass consumerism. Two paperback rereleases of the novel, one in 1999 and the other in 2004 (the latter of which begins with an introduction by the author about the conception and popularity of both the novel and the movie), were later made. This success helped launch Palahniuk's career as a popular novelist, as well as establish a writing style that would appear in many of his future novels.
The club itself was based on a series of fights that Palahniuk got into over previous years (most notably one that he got into during a camping trip).  Even though he has mentioned this in many interviews, Palahniuk is still often approached by fans wanting to know where their local fight club takes place. Palahniuk insists that there is no real, singular organization like the one in his book. However, he does admit that some fans have mentioned to him that some fight clubs (albeit much smaller than the one in the novel) exist or previously existed (some having existed long before the novel was written). Also, in the introduction to the current edition of the novel, Palahniuk refers to a few of the many actual instances of mischief being carried out in the style of fight club, most notably, a "waiter from one of London's two finest restaurants" alleging that he ejaculated into Margaret Thatcher's food on multiple occasions. Margaret Hilda Thatcher Baroness Thatcher LG, OM, PC, FRS (born 13 October 1925
Many other events in the novel were also based on events that Palahniuk himself had experienced. The support groups that the narrator attends are based on support groups to which the author brought terminally ill people as part of a volunteer job he did for a local hospital. In a support group, members provide each other with various types of help usually nonprofessional and nonmaterial for a particular shared usually burdensome characteristic Project Mayhem is loosely based on the Cacophony Society, of which Palahniuk is a member. The Cacophony Society is “a randomly gathered network of Free spirits united in the pursuit of experiences beyond the pale of mainstream society. Various events and characters are based on friends of the author. Other events came as a result of stories told to him by various people he had talked to. 
Outside of Palahniuk's professional and personal life, the novel's impact has been felt elsewhere. Several individuals in various locations of the United States, ranging from teenagers to people in technical careers, have set up their own fight clubs based on the one mentioned in the novel. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the  Some of Tyler's on-the-job pranks (such as food tampering) have been repeated by fans of the book (although these same pranks existed well before the novel was published). Palahniuk eventually documented this phenomenon in his essay "Monkey Think, Monkey Do", which was published in his book Stranger Than Fiction: True Stories, as well as in the introduction to the 2004 paperback edition of Fight Club. Stranger Than Fiction True Stories (published in the United Kingdom & Australia as Nonfiction) is a Non-fiction book by Other fans of the book have been inspired to social activity as well; Palahniuk has claimed that fans tell him that they have been inspired to go back to college after reading the book. 
Other than the film, a few other adaptations have been attempted. In 2004 Fight Club was in development as a musical, developed by Palahniuk, Fincher, and Trent Reznor. Musical theatre is a form of Theatre combining Music, Songs spoken Dialogue and Dance. Trent Reznor (born Michael Trent Reznor on May 17 1965 is an American Musician, singer producer, and Multi-instrumentalist.  Brad Pitt, who played the role of Tyler Durden in the film, expressed interest in being involved. William Bradley "Brad" Pitt Pitt received a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination for his role in the 1995 film Twelve Monkeys A video game loosely based on the film was published by Vivendi Universal Games in 2004, receiving poor reviews from gaming critics. Fight Club is a fighting Video game based on the film Fight Club, which was based on the novel of the same name by Vivendi Games, formerly known as Vivendi Universal Games, is a Worldwide French developer publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment
The book centers on an unnamed narrator who hates his job and his life. The narrator works for a car company, also unnamed, organizing product recalls on defective models if, and only if, a cost-benefit analysis shows that the cost of the recall is less than the cost of out-of-court settlements paid to relatives of the deceased (which parallels the 1970s story of the Ford Pinto's safety problems and recall). A product recall is a request to return to the maker a batch or an entire production run of a product usually due to the discovery of safety issues Cost-benefit analysis is a term that refers both to a formal discipline used to help appraise or assess the case for a Project or proposal which itself is For other uses of settlement including legal uses see Settlement. The Ford Pinto was a subcompact manufactured by the Ford Motor Company for the North American market first introduced on September 11, 1970 At the same time, he is becoming disenchanted with the "nesting instinct" of consumerism that has absorbed his life, forcing him to define himself by the furniture, clothes, and other material things that he owns. Nesting instinct refers to an instinct or urge in pregnant animals to prepare a home for the upcoming newborn(s This dissatisfaction, combined with his frequent business trips across multiple time zones, disturbs him to the point that he suffers from chronic insomnia. Insomnia is a symptom of a sleeping disorder characterized by persistent difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep despite the opportunity
At the recommendation of his physician (who does not consider his insomnia to be a serious ailment), the narrator goes to a support group for men with testicular cancer to "see what real suffering is like. Testicular cancer is Cancer that develops in the Testicles a part of the Male reproductive system " After finding that crying at these support groups and listening to emotional outpourings from the suffering allows him to sleep at night, he becomes dependent on them. At the same time, he befriends a cancer victim named Bob. Although he does not really suffer from any of the ailments that the other attendants have, he is never caught being a "tourist" until he meets Marla Singer, a woman who also attends support groups for alternative reasons. Her presence reflects the narrator's "tourism," and only reminds him that he doesn't belong at the support groups. He begins to hate Marla for keeping him from crying, and therefore from sleeping. After a short confrontation, they begin going to separate support groups in order to avoid meeting again.
Shortly before this incident, his life changes radically upon meeting Tyler Durden, a charismatic psychopath who works low-paying jobs at night in order to perform deviant behavior on the job. Psychopathy ( is a psychological construct that describes chronic immoral and Antisocial behavior After his confrontation with Marla, the narrator's condo is destroyed by an explosion and he asks Tyler if he can stay at his house. Tyler agrees, but asks for something in return: "I want you to hit me as hard as you can. " The resulting fight in a bar's parking lot attracts more disenchanted males, and a new form of support group, the first "Fight Club," is born. The fight club becomes a new type of therapy through bare-knuckle fighting, controlled by a set of rules:
- You don't talk about fight club. See also Bare-knuckle for other uses Bare-knuckle boxing (also known as bare-knuckle, prizefighting, or fisticuffs
- You don't talk about fight club. 
- When someone says stop, or goes limp, even if he's just faking it, the fight is over. 
- Only two guys to a fight.
- One fight at a time.
- They fight without shirts or shoes.
- The fights go on as long as they have to.
- If this is your first night at fight club, you have to fight.
– Fight Club, pages 48–50
Later in the book, the mechanic tells the narrator two new rules of the fight club. The first new rule is that nobody is the center of the fight club except for the two men fighting. The second new rule is that the fight club will always be free.
Meanwhile, Tyler rescues Marla from a suicide attempt, and the two initiate an affair that confounds the narrator. Throughout this affair, Marla is mostly unaware of the existence of fight club and completely unaware of Tyler and the narrator's interaction with one another. 
As the fight club's membership grows (and, unbeknownst to the narrator, spreads to other cities across the country), Tyler begins to use it to spread anti-consumerist ideas and recruits its members to participate in increasingly elaborate attacks on corporate America. Corporate America is an informal phrase describing the world of Corporations within the United States not under government ownership This was originally the narrator's idea, but Tyler takes control from him. Tyler eventually gathers the most devoted fight club members (referred to as "space monkeys") and forms "Project Mayhem," a cult-like organization that trains itself as an army to bring down modern civilization. Before humans were launched into space, several animals were launched into space, including numerous Monkeys in order to investigate the biological This article does not discuss "cult" in the original sense of "veneration" or "religious practice" for that usage see Cult (religious practice This organization, like the fight club, is controlled by a set of rules:
- You don't ask questions.
- You don't ask questions.
- No excuses.
- No lies.
- You have to trust Tyler.
– Fight Club, pages 119, 122, 125
The narrator starts off as a loyal participant in Project Mayhem, seeing it as the next step for the fight club. However, he becomes uncomfortable with the increasing destructiveness of their activities after it results in the death of Bob.
As the narrator endeavors to stop Tyler and his followers, he learns that he is Tyler; Tyler is not a separate person, but a separate personality. Anagnorisis (ˌænəgˈnɒrɨsɨs ἀναγνώρισις also known as discovery originally meant Recognition in its Greek context not only of a person but also Dissociative Identity Disorder ( DID) as defined by the American Psychiatric Association 's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM As the narrator struggled with his hatred for his job and his consumerist lifestyle, his mind began to form a new personality that was able to escape from the problems of his normal life. The final straw came when he met Marla; Tyler was truly born as a distinct personality when the narrator's unconscious desire for Marla clashed with his conscious hatred for her. Having come to the surface, Tyler's personality has been slowly taking over the narrator's mind, which he planned to take over completely by making the narrator's real personality more like his. The narrator's bouts of insomnia had actually been Tyler's personality surfacing; Tyler would be active whenever the narrator was "sleeping. " This allowed Tyler to manipulate the narrator into helping him create the fight club; Tyler learned recipes for creating explosives when he was in control and used this knowledge to blow up his own condo.
The narrator also learns that Tyler plans to blow up the Parker-Morris building (the fictional "tallest building in the world") in the downtown area of the city using homemade bombs created by Project Mayhem. An improvised explosive device ( IED) is a Bomb constructed and deployed in ways other than in conventional Military action The actual reason for the explosion is to destroy the nearby national museum. During the explosion, Tyler plans to die as a martyr for Project Mayhem, taking the narrator's life as well. The term martyr ( Greek μάρτυς martys "witness" is most commonly used today to describe an individual who sacrifices their life (or personal freedom Realizing this, the narrator sets out to stop Tyler, although Tyler is always thinking ahead of him. In his attempts to stop Tyler, he makes peace with Marla (who has always known the narrator as Tyler) and explains to her that he is not Tyler Durden. The narrator is eventually forced to confront Tyler on the roof of the building. The narrator is held captive at gunpoint by Tyler, forced to watch the destruction wrought on the museum by Project Mayhem. Marla comes to the roof with one of the support groups. Tyler vanishes, as “Tyler was his hallucination, not hers. ” 
With Tyler gone, the narrator waits for the bomb to explode and kill him. However, the bomb malfunctions because Tyler mixed paraffin into the explosives, which the narrator says early in the book "has never, ever worked for me. " Still alive and holding the gun that Tyler used to carry on him, the narrator decides to make the first decision that is truly his own: he puts the gun in his mouth and shoots himself. Some time later, he awakens in a mental institution, believing that he is dead and has gone to heaven. The book ends with members of Project Mayhem who work at the institution telling the narrator that their plans still continue, and that they are expecting Tyler to come back.
At two points in the novel, the narrator claims he wants to "wipe [his] ass with the Mona Lisa"; a mechanic who joins fight club also repeats this to him in one scene. Mona Lisa (also known as La Gioconda) is a 16th century portrait painted in oil on a Poplar panel by  This motif shows his desire for chaos, later explicitly expressed in his urge to "destroy something beautiful". In a Narrative, such as a novel or a film motifs are recurring structures contrasts or literary devices that can help to develop and inform the text’s major themes Additionally, he mentions at one point that "Nothing is static. Even the Mona Lisa is falling apart. " University of Calgary literary scholar Paul Kennett claims that this want for chaos is a result of an Oedipus complex, as the narrator, Tyler, and the mechanic all show disdain for their fathers. The Oedipus complex, in Freudian Psychoanalysis, is named after the Greek mythical character Oedipus, who unknowingly kills his father  This is most explicitly stated in the scene that the mechanic appears in:
The mechanic says, “If you’re male and you’re Christian and living in America, your father is your model for God. And if you never know your father, if your father bails out or dies or is never at home, what do you believe about God?
. . .
How Tyler saw it was that getting God’s attention for being bad was better than getting no attention at all. Maybe because God’s hate is better than His indifference.
If you could be either God’s worst enemy or nothing, which would you choose?
We are God’s middle children, according to Tyler Durden, with no special place in history and no special attention.
Unless we get God’s attention, we have no hope of damnation or redemption.
Which is worse, hell or nothing?
Only if we’re caught and punished can we be saved.
“Burn the Louvre,” the mechanic says, “and wipe your ass with the Mona Lisa. The Louvre Museum (Musée du Louvre located in Paris is the world's most visited art museum a historic monument and a national museum of France This way at least, God would know our names. ”
– Fight Club, page 141
Kennett further argues that Tyler wants to use this chaos to change history so that "God’s middle children" will have some historical significance, whether or not this significance is "damnation or redemption".  This will figuratively return their absent fathers, as judgment by future generations will replace judgment by their fathers.
After reading stories written from the perspective of the organs of a man named Joe, the narrator begins using similar quotations to describe his feelings, often replacing organs with feelings and things involved in his life.
The narrator often repeats the line "I know this because Tyler knows this. " This is used to foreshadow the novel's major plot twist in which Tyler is revealed to be the same person as the narrator. Foreshadowing is a literary device in which an Author drops subtle hints about plot developments to come later in the story.
Another foreshadowing is in the subtle metaphor of one of Tyler's night jobs. Foreshadowing is a literary device in which an Author drops subtle hints about plot developments to come later in the story. He works as a projectionist in an old run-down movie theater and vividly describes how it is necessary for him to change the reels halfway through the film (a "changeover") with no one in the cinema realizing this has happened. A Projectionist is a person whose profession entails the operating of a Movie projector. This foreshadows how when the narrator falls asleep, he makes a "changeover" to Tyler's persona, with no one realizing the two are distinct from each other.
The color cornflower blue first appears as the color of an icon on the narrator's boss's computer. Sky Blue redirects here For the Animated film, see Wonderful Days; for the alcoholic beverage see SKYY vodka Cornflower  Later, it is mentioned that his boss has eyes of the same color.  These mentions of the color are the first of many uses of cornflower blue in Palahniuk's books, which all feature the color at some point in the text.
The theme of masculinity is also a motif throughout the book. Different symbols lead to this recurring theme, such as violence, and testes. Fighting is perceived as a masculine characteristic.
Isolationism, specifically directed towards material items and possessions, is a common theme throughout the novel. Tyler acts as the major catalyst behind the destruction of our vanities, which he claims is the path to finding our inner-selves. "I’m breaking my attachment to physical power and possessions,” Tyler whispered,“ because only through destroying myself can I discover the greater power of my spirit. ”
Throughout the novel, Palahniuk uses the narrator and Tyler to comment on how people in modern society try to find meaning in their lives through commercial culture. Several lines in the novel make reference to this lifestyle as meaningless. Usually Palahniuk delivers this through overt methods, but there are also some allegorical references as well; for instance, the narrator, upon looking at the contents of his refrigerator, notices he has "a house full of condiments and no food. " This also denotes that modern society and consumerism has no substance, but is merely based upon making things appear to have substance; i. e condiments are not a main food source, they merely add flavor to existing food. Indulging in consumerism (shopping, like from the IKEA book) doesn't add any real substance to life, it only adds an appearance (like a condiment). IKEA is a privately-held international home products retailer that sells flat pack Furniture, accessories bathrooms and kitchens at retail stores around the world
Additionally, much of the novel comments on how many men in modern society have found dissatisfaction with the state of masculinity as it currently exists. The characters of the novel lament the fact that many of them were raised by their mothers because their fathers either abandoned their family or divorced their mothers. As a result, they see themselves as being "a generation of men raised by women," being without a male role model in their lives to help shape their masculinity. This ties in with the anti-consumer culture theme, as the men in the novel see their "IKEA nesting instinct" as resulting from the feminization of men in a matriarchal culture.
Maryville University of St. Louis professor Jesse Kavadlo, in an issue of the literary journal Stirrings Still, claimed that the narrator's opposition to emasculation is a form of projection, and that the problem that he fights is himself.  He also claims that Palahniuk uses existentialism in the novel to conceal subtexts of feminism and romance in order to convey these concepts in a novel that is mainly aimed at a male audience. Existentialism is a philosophical doctrine which posits that individuals create the meaning and essence of their lives and that this essence follows from their existence Feminism is a discourse that involves various movements theories, and Philosophies which are concerned with the issue of Gender difference, advocate 
Palahniuk himself gives a much simpler assertion about the theme of the novel, stating "all my books are about a lonely person looking for some way to connect with other people. "
Paul Kennett claims that, because the narrator's fights with Tyler are fights with himself, and because he fights himself in front of his boss at the hotel, the narrator is using the fights as a way of asserting himself as his own boss. He argues that these fights are a representation of the struggle of the proletarian at the hands of a higher capitalist power, and by asserting himself as capable of having the same power he thus becomes his own master. The proletariat (from Latin la ''proles'' "offspring" is a term used to identify a lower Social class; a member of such a class is proletarian Later, when fight club is formed, the participants are all dressed and groomed similarly, thus allowing them to symbolically fight themselves at the club and gain the same power. 
Afterwards, Kennett says, Tyler becomes nostalgic for the patriarchical power controlling him, and creates Project Mayhem to achieve this. Through this proto-fascist power structure, the narrator seeks to learn "what, or rather, who, he might have been under a firm patriarchy. " Through his position as leader of Project Mayhem, Tyler uses his power to become a "God/Father" to the "space monkeys", who are the other members of Project Mayhem (although by the end of the novel his words hold more power than he does, as is evident in the space monkeys' threat to castrate the narrator when he contradicts Tyler's rule). According to Kennett, this creates a paradox in that Tyler pushes the idea that men who wish to be free from a controlling father-figure are only self-actualized once they have children and become a father themselves. Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a theory in Psychology, proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper A Theory of Human Motivation, which  This new structure is, however, ended by the narrator's elimination of Tyler, allowing him to decide for himself how to determine his freedom.
The novel won the following awards:
In addition, the following editions of the novel were used as references for this article: