The Effects of Modernity on Identity in Fight Club Essay

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The Effects of Modernity on Identity in Fight Club Identity is a definition of the self, an explanation of character. However, in the movie Fight Club, the components that comprise outward identity often prove to be transitory. Edward Norton’s “Jack” character asks, “If you wake up at a different time, in a different place, could you wake up as a different person?” The effects of modernity lead to the impermanence of self image, and the decay of identity.      Rather than having a true identity, “Jack” is called a “byproduct of a lifestyle obsession.” He bases personal worth upon what he owns. It is this materialistic consumerism that steals individuality. How can a concrete identity be established when its value…show more content…
In a way Jack belonged there as much as the rest of them, because he too had been emasculated much to the same degree as many of the men who had been physically separated from their manhood. By engaging in the primal violence of the fight club, the men could get a piece of that back. They wore their battle scars with pride, and it gave them a new sense of empowerment, and a new, more forward and domineering attitude. The club and Project Mayhem were also forums for rebellion against consumer culture. The group targeted corporations and retailers who were selling a lifestyle that they were trying to destroy. The fact that these establishments were selling lifestyles at all was the inherent problem. It all reverts back to the line that Tyler says regarding the things you own owning you. Identity through ownership and material possessions is not identity at all. These acts of vandalism were also a rejection of the class culture that the characters of the film lived in. The main purpose for demolishing the credit card firms was to ensure that the debt records would be erased, and everyone would be at the same place, zero. Their act would eliminate the class structure because everyone would be starting over, no matter how well off the people may have been. The club also functioned to reinforce identity and give the men the feeling of being alive by its ability to make the fighters feel “real” pain. Since many of
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