“The first rule about fight club is you don’t talk about fight club.” In the novel Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk, one of the most common motifs is identity. Identity is presented in different ways whether it is some form of universal identity being created, or a search for one’s own identity. A character’s identity is constantly evolving based on what another character has decided. Identity is not always who you think you are, but who Tyler Durden says you are.
In the beginning of the novel, the reader is faced with a lack of identity. They are left wondering, “Who is the narrator and why do we not know their name?” The narrator is very plain, always fitting in, but never standing out. He is never rooted to one spot, nothing to tie him down or identify him to one place. He attends support groups where he is a different man every night with a new problem. He has the opportunity to be whomever he chooses to be. Since he is at a certain support group, it is automatically assumed that he suffers from the same illness.
Marla and the narrator have something in common. Marla uses the support groups to satisfy her own need of experiencing death while the narrator uses support groups to sleep (39). The difference between the two is that Marla knows her own identity. She is Marla Singer. She’s unique, twisted, and unhappy with her life. “Marla’s philosophy of life, she told me, is that she can die at any moment. The tragedy of her life is that she doesn’t. (108)” Marla arrives at the support groups giving her real name, but still letting everyone assume she is dying. Marla watches out for herself, not caring about anyone else in the process. Marla began going to support group after finding her first lump. Even though Marla seems so confident in herself, could she be wearing a mask? Is she actually afraid of dying?
Tyler Durden is a man that is constantly evolving. Tyler is conveyed as not having a care in the world. He is in...