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Fight Club

Fight Club

by Chuck Palahniuk

Identity Theme

Clark Kent and Superman. Bruce Wayne and Batman. Mindy Macready and Hit-Girl. Tyler Durden and... Tyler Durden?

Tyler Durden, with his super-human powers of persuasion, may not technically be a superhero (although all the young men who idolize him would disagree), but he definitely has a secret identity. So secret, in fact, that even he doesn't know who he is. His mild-mannered alter-ego and the explosive anarchistic side of his personality are so different, he thinks he's two different people. A superhero who's also a supervillain? Now that's a showdown we can't wait to see.

Questions About Identity

  1. Are the two sides of our narrator's identity unique and distinct, or do they share certain characteristics?
  2. At the end of the novel, our narrator shoots himself in the face to rid himself of Tyler. Do you think he succeeded? Can he ever be rid of that part of his identity?
  3. How much of our narrator's identity is affected by how others perceive him?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Our society affects our identity. The Tyler side of our narrator's personality—violent, mischievous, anarchistic—is, to put it mildly, looked down upon by society. Therefore, our narrator has to distance himself from these aspects of his personality.

All the men who join fight club and Project Mayhem have two different sides to their personality. But when they start showing up to work with broken noses and black eyes, these two halves of their identities start to blur together.

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