Fight Club

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Fight Club is an important film revealing the results of civilization which causes emerged new ego far from real ego. We examined this popular rich content movie looking from psychoanalytic perspective.

This film expresses an important Freudian theme, Oedipal Complex. The relation between characters; Marla, Tyler and Jack shows us that clearly.
Jack (the narrator) is an unsatisfied and frustrated person in his job, suffering from insomnia and having consumerism attitudes making far from his insticts. In therapy groups that he goes for his insomnia treatment, Jack meets Marla. Jack creates an Idealized Ego known as Tyler Durden to do all of the things that he feels that he can not do, or is too weak to do. Tyler is portrayed in the movie as a character that is a flawless representation of male mankind; therefore, the actor playing him is Brad Pitt, the sexiest man nowadays. Tyler destroys the capitalist structures that pushed Jack away from the Real in the beginning. Tyler is an idealized ego, also since he makes real Jack’s desires, he is an id.

The narrator ( Jack) of Fight Club is fixated in the phallic stage. Symptoms of phallic fixations are sexual inhibition, fear of castration, homoerotic tendency. The entire film is permeated with castration anxiety and phallic imagery, including the subliminal penis flashed across the screen and the dildo in Marla’s apartment. According to Freud, the cause of fixation at this stage is an unresolved Oedipal complex. The narrator has failed to resolve his Oedipal complex because his father abandoned him. Here Tyler is father, Marla is a mother figure. To liberate himself from phallic stage he must find his father or find one. However, the Oedipal complex is best expressed in the scenes in which Tyler and Marla, to Jack’s frustration, have wild sex in Tyler’s house. To the extent that Tyler is a father surrogate for Jack, Jack is witnessing the Freudian “primal scene”. Freud described the primal scene as the event in which children observe the parents engaged in intercourse. The child cannot understand the event and may think that the father is harming the mother. Further, Freud’s central thesis is that men have an Oedipal wish to have sex with the mother and kill the father. Marla is the main reason of creating Tyler because with Tyler Oedipal triangle is completed.

Marla emphasizes a subtle implication which is she has no testicles. In therapy groups she said to Jack that he has still his balls. This is about castration complex. Girls, upon discovering the penis, become convinced that they have been victims of castration. The victims of testicular cancer become metaphors for victims of castration. These men have been punished and robbed of their manhood by the fathers and by the civilization that Fight Club criticizes.

The subliminal flashed penis is also shown in a Disney movie that children watch. Again we see castration complex. During we see Tyler Durden as subliminal flashed imagery that has the same meaning with penis reminding castration complex to Jack. Because Tyler is the father of Jack. And if the members of Fight Club declare the secret of Project Mayhem they will be castrated.

Tyler explains how soap was created in the scene where “he” is giving Jack a chemical burn. The burn portrayed in the movie is an example of the trauma one can feel when confronted with the real. Tyler states that, “the lye in soap was first discovered when water seeped through the ashes in bodies from human sacrifice.” The fat creates a milky white discharge that has the ability to clean. The ashes, once used as the primordial ingredient of soap, is an exemplification of the Freudian concept of the death drive. The lye is created from bodies returning to the inorganic matter that they once were. Not only is the soap a metaphor for the abject, the death drive, and the separation from the real, but it is also tied into the relationship with capitalism. Tyler sells the soap to...
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