Ideology: Fight Club

A set of principles dictates the values held dear in civilization. These determine the nature of every aspect of culture in the society, for example in politics, social life, and entertainment. ‘Ideology’ is the word used to sum up the system of beliefs, both social and political that exists throughout society. For a long time, one of the most popular methods to bring out these personal ideals has been through film. In every film, it is possible to pinpoint the ideology of those behind its production, whether it is the philosophy of sex, war and destruction, or racism. The film 1999 Fight Club has its theme centered on class and political freedom for the individual and society

Disillusionment, numbness, and depression are what Jack Moore, the character played by Edward Norton, has to deal with. He is the protagonist of the story and his symptoms representative of what all the young men subjected to this certain kind of life go through. A job that does not suit him brings him to a place where he feels the need to fight for liberation from this kind of life, as is characteristic of many men his age at the time. Hence emerges a situation where there is sudden mistrust in the whole philosophy of consumerism throughout the generation. This leads to a class of young men that are willing to fight for equality in the economy, employing violent means to achieve much needed results. In summary, they were in pursuit of communism. This is the exact opposite of the anti-communist policies pushed by the right-wing evangelists. In fact, the right wing culture advocated for total lack of interference by government and leaving people to their own means

For Jack, the quest for liberation means looking outside of his very contained ego into his id to find Tyler Durden, played by Brad Pitt. Tyler Durden is radical in his fight for equality. In the movie, he sets about destroying financial institutions in order to clean financial records and give everyone a fresh start; he wants to level the playing field (Fight Club). Tyler prompts Jack to hit him, from where fight clubs throughout the civilization draw their origin. The fight clubs consist of men seeking emancipation from their plain dismal lives. Most of these men are interestingly from families lacking in father figures.

Another personal ideal that materializes from this includes that of gender. Tyler is the perfect emblem of masculinity. He is physically attractive, engages in numerous fights, fearless, and dons a black leather jacket, a preserve of belligerent men in that era. Jack the other hand comes off as more of feminine. He cries at support groups meetings and his hobby is the collection of furniture, traits associated with feminism. He sheds at the fighting club as he gains masculine traits of strength and aggression (Fight Club) off this side. The same is the result for all the young men in the fight clubs; they all gain liberation from the femininity that allegedly stems from the lack of father figures.

Similarities are present between David Fincher’s Fight Club and Francis Coppola’s Apocalypse Now. The ideology behind Fight Club is the use of violence to gain liberalization. Even though the fight in this case is against imperialism, the same theme of fighting and violence for liberalization is propagated in Apocalypse now. The latter brings up issues of violent conflict, both within the U.S.A and Cambodia. In the U.S.A, there is a nation divided by the war, with one side against it and the other backing it. In Vietnam, the locals struggle to find emancipation from the U.S.A. There is use violence in both countries; violence that could lead to freedom for those who are against the idea of imperialism.

The film Fight Club brings up issues of violence and freedom; the idea being to prove the existence of a definite link between the two. This ideology continues to gain popularity in film today and serves to brainwash the public into similarly adapting these ideals. Fight Club, like many films, is successful in convincing giving viewers the inaccurate idea that the only way to gain freedom and self-actualization, for civilization and for the individual is in applying violence.

Order now

Related essays