Study Guide

Fight Club Violence

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You might not realize it at a glance, but Fight Club is quite Buddhist. The film is all about reaching enlightenment, finding it within, and realizing that you cannot truly know something until you have experienced it yourself

Unlike the Buddha, however, Fight Club believes that the road to enlightenment begins with punching yourself in the face. These men solve all their problems with violence.

Questions About Violence

  1. What problems does fight club solve through violence? What new problems does this violence create? Could these men achieve enlightenment any other way? 
  2. Besides fighting, which methods of violence does fight club and Project Mayhem use to achieve its goals? 
  3. Marla is the only major female character in the movie. Is she violent in any way? Is she the subject of violence? 
  4. Are there are any non-violent male characters in the movie? How are they treated by the violent characters?

Chew on This

Tyler Durden is born out of narrator's lifetime of forced repression of his violent tendencies. Maybe he should have taken a kickboxing class or two.

Society encourages men to be civil, nonviolent gentleman, and this just makes some men, especially men not in positions of power—the car wash attendants, the mechanics, the office clerks—desire to be even more violent.

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