Consumer culture emasculates by fostering false idealized images that motivate men to change what and who they are: men. They run longing for this idealized image to which
At the outset of the film we find the emasculated Jack seeking solace and identity in consumable products rather than in himself…whatever that may look like. In an early scene where Jack and Tyler first appear in the same shot, sitting side by side on the airplane Tyler reads the emergency instruction card to which Jack replies something about the great responsibility that seat has to open the emergency door.
In one scene Jack describes the relationship between he and Tyler as, “Most of the week we were like Ozzie and Harriet.” We are not confused who is whom in this analogous pairing.
In another scene at Marla’s apartment, Marla says to
Craig Detweiler in his book, A Matrix of Meanings says, “A longing for God and fathers informs every frame of Fight Club” (p. 42.). We see this theme boy with out father-figures recurring throughout the film. In a later poignant scene, the two men sit and discuss their fathers.
Jack: “I can’t get married, I’m a 30 year old boy.”
Elsewhere in the film
Our culture’s lack of fathers point of orientation in development renders an incomplete identity that must be filled by things. Ultimately the we are shown what it means to be a man by those products rather than our fathers.
Jack narrates to the audience, “I felt sorry for guys packed into gyms, trying to look like how Calvin Klein or Tommy Hilfiger said they should look.” And turning to
We have been sold a false bill of goods and the scales have fallen from our eyes. The mute now have a voice to combat the culture…to give an expression to their (and ours) discontent.