The purpose of my essay is to compare and contrast the novel titled Fight Club, written by Chuck Palahniuk, and the story, dated back to the Victorian age, known as The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, written by Robert Louis Stevenson. I will compare these two works by evaluating how these two authors represent the theme of dual/split personalities within a specific character found in within each of their respective stories. Each author portrays the idea of dual personalities, and as you read my argument, you will encounter the similarities and differences in the way they described the character’s appearance of their alter ego and the process of their transformation. I will also touch on how the author portrays each character with their own personal views on the world and how those very views caused the creation of their own, “Tyler Durden”, or “Mr. Hyde.” My comparison will also include the destructive nature of each character’s alter persona, as well as their personal views on reality and society that revolves around them. To close my argument, I will compare the process of each character’s inner confrontation and embracement of their other persona. This essay is purely a comparison of the two stories and will not touch on the psychological standpoint of dual personalities, other than comparing how the author portrays this theme and the ideologies of the characters, which they use to justify their actions in the story.
Now the novel Fight Club was publish in 1996, and continues to be one of the most cult related novels of its time. So it is very recent in comparison to the short story, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, however they both dwell in the same region of dark settings and grotesque styles of writings. The novel Fight Club follows an individual, whose name is never revealed throughout the novel, and deals with his obsession of having all the finer things in life, along with the struggle of dealing with insomnia. He realizes that his existence means nothing in this world, despite his hard work and determination, and that one day he will die and the world will forget him as if he never existed. He attends support groups to earn a sense of satisfaction of being able to cry and release his inner feelings, regardless of the fact that he is not suffering from any illness or fatal disease. From these emotions, one can assume this sparked the creation of his other persona known as Tyler Durden who starts a “Fight Club” where men can establish their dominance and where they can truly embrace who they are. However the main character soon finds that what Tyler wants is not necessarily what he wants, which begins the confrontation between himself and his inner persona.
Now within the novel of Fight Club, the story follows an individual whose name is never disclosed throughout the novel; therefore for the sole purpose of this essay I will reference this character as Joe. The reason being that as you read the story, the main character discovers a copy of Readers Digest, where he discovers an article in which they personify a human organ to explain functions and the medical needs that each organ needs. An example of this is, “I am Joe’s Raging Bile Duct” (Fight Club pg. 70), and continues to reference this throughout the story to express the emotions by personifying them in the same fashion. An example of this done by the main character is, “I am Joe’s Grinding Teeth” (Fight Club pg. 70), as well as, “I am Joe’s Inflamed Flaring Nostrils” (Fight Club pg. 70). The moments where he identifies himself in this fashion are the only moments where he gives himself any form of an identity; therefore in my arguments, as well as the conclusion of my essay I will reference this character as Joe.
The second part of this comparison is the short story known as The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Now this short story was published in the year 1886, and was written during a time when...