The Fight Club, directed by David Fincher, constructs an underground world of men fighting with one and other to find the meaning to their lives. Ed Norton and Brad Pitt are the main characters who start the fight club. They make a set of rules in which everyone must follow.
The fight club exists because individuals get weighted down by possessions causing them to miss the deep meaning of life. Most of the people in the fight club hold service jobs or lower level management jobs that are meaningless. Society becomes so rationalized that one must push themeself to the extreme in order to feel anything or accomplish anything.
The more you fight in the fight club the tougher and stronger you become. Getting into a fight tests who you are. No one helps you so you are forced to see your weaknesses. The film celebrates self-destruction and the idea that being on the edge allows you to be beaten becuase nothing really matters in your life.
Ed Norton is the main character in the beginning. He has a meaningless job and he has to go to support groups to feel anything. There he meets Marla, a woman who does the same as him; they are both addicted to support groups. He then meets Brad Pitt. Pitts character forces Norton’s character to see that life is meaningless and they begin the fight club. It starts in the basement; it is in confines and is completely regulated. It then shifts to cultural anarchy of vandalism and attacks. Then the members have to pick a fight and lose. The idea of the fight club spreads and becomes like an army and the members become militant. The members no longer “take it out” on each other, they take it out on everyone. The idea of the fight club becomes facist and Tyler becomes like Hitler.
It turns out that Norton and Pitt are the same person, they are Tyler Durton. Norton represents the average man in America at a meaningless job, feeling like there is no reason for his existance. Pitt represents the force which makes Norton realize that there is no meaning to life and he must push to the extreme to feel anything and to accomplish anything.
Marla is the only woman in the movie and she is used to show that the idea of women fighting is a ridicule where as the idea of men fighting is celebrated. Marla explores both sides of Tyler’s character (Norton and Pitt), she is physically attracted to Pitt (he is aggressive by nature) and she is emotionally attracted to Norton (he is the sensitive side).
The idea of having Norton and Pitt as the same person is to represent the split self. One side of self goes through the motions of life – goes to work and is graded on how well he does. The other side is the aggressive side that does not want to sit at a meaningless job doing what he is told to do. This side wants to find the extremeness to life and continues to break all the rules