Fight Club and Generation X

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Fight Club and Generation X

In the novel Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk we are introduced to our narrator, a nameless male who stands atop the Parker-Morris building with a gun pressed to his mouth waiting for the moment when the bombs go off and the building crumbles. Holding the gun to his mouth is Tyler Durden who represents everything the narrator is not. The narrator is a man presumably in his 30's, although it is never stated. He works as a recall campaign coordinator and lives in a condo furnished with the latest furniture. Tyler Durden is none of these things, Tyler Durden works various jobs and sells soap made of human fat. Tyler Durden lives in a dilapidated house with makeshift furnishings and questionable utilities. Tyler Durden is satisfied with his life, unlike our narrator who suffers from chronic insomnia and who often speaks bitterly about the corporate life. "You do the little job you're trained to do. Pull a lever. Push a button. You don't understand any of it, and then you just die."(Palahniuk 12) It is lines like these that helped this novel soar in popularity among the ‘Generation X' crowd. It is because people feel trapped in their jobs and material lives. We go to work, we do what we're told, we buy the things they tell us to buy, but seldom do these things bring meaning to our lives. Because the novel speaks to such a large audience of young people, it has become an important statement regarding modern culture.

Support groups are the only way the narrator is able to get any sleep. By visiting various support groups for people with terminal illnesses, and assuming false identities, he is able to find a sense of belonging that is otherwise missing in his life. "This is why I loved the support groups so much, if people thought you were dying, they gave you their full attention."(Palahniuk 107) Like the narrator, ‘Generation X' too feels disconnected from a society in which people are generally too preoccupied with...