Social Psychology in Fight Club

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Deinviduation and Attraction in Fight Club
Fight Club is a complex movie in that the two main characters are just two sides of the same person. Edward Norton’s character is the prototypical conformist consumer working a morally questionable office job to feed his obsession with material possessions. He works as a recall coordinator for a “major car company” and applies a formula based on profitability, rather than safety, to determine the necessity of a recall. Though never explicitly stated, he seems to be in his late twenties or early thirties and throughout the movie has a constantly haggard appearance because of his insomnia and fighting. Brad Pitt’s character is a carefree nonconformist and the manifestation of Edward Norton’s fantasies about freedom from social conformity. He is the one who starts Fight Club and is responsible for the escalation from a relatively benign fight club to nationwide terrorist movement. Both of these characters are Tyler Durden, but this is not revealed until near the end of the movie. Marla Singer is another main character and a sort of catalyst for the emergence of fight club as well as a distraction from the reality that Brad Pitt and Edward Norton are the same person. Marla seems to be the same age as Tyler (both of them) and does not appear to have a job. Throughout the movie she nonchalantly steals things she needs from unsuspecting victims and describes herself as living in poverty. Her depression leads her to support groups as well as a suicide attempt, both of which bring her closer to Tyler. Though Meat Loaf’s character Bob is featured as a main character I believe that he better falls into the role of one of the members of fight club, who as a group are set up to be almost identical and can thus be considered the fourth main character in the movie. They are what Brad Pitt describes as “an entire generation pumping gas and waiting tables; Slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes,...
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