Study Guide

Fight Club Mortality

By Chuck Palahniuk


Death happens. Every day. And everyone has to find their own way to cope with it. The characters in Fight Club choose to confront their own mortality head on by steeping themselves in death. They take jobs at funeral homes. They attend cancer support groups. They hear stories of other people dying. They beat each other within an inch of their lives. To some of them, it seems that being this close to so much death is the only way they can truly feel alive.

Questions About Mortality

  1. Why are all the characters in Fight Club obsessed with death?
  2. How do our narrator and Marla deal with death? In what ways are they similar, and in what ways do they differ?
  3. Compare the deaths of Chloe and Bob. How does our narrator react to each one?

Chew on This

The narrator never quite comes to terms with death. In the final chapter, he thinks he has killed himself and will be able to return to life. He's still delusional about the finality of death.

Our society values having more than someone else: more money, more friends, more stuff. Marla is dirt poor and has no material possessions, so she attends cancer support groups and works at a funeral home to prove she has more than some people: more life.

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