Fight Club and Taoism
November 24, 2014
Taoism and Fight Club
“Fight Club” (1999), directed by David Fincher, is a cinematic masterpiece that tells the tale of an unnamed protagonist who (for the sake of simplicity, will be referred to as “the narrator”) forms an underground fight club with a mysterious soap salesman named Tyler Durden. As the movie progresses, the club grows and eventually the members join together to form Project Mayhem, a terrorist organization interested In combating the ideas of materialism and consumerism. By the end of the movie, the audience learns that Tyler Durden was simply a manifestation of the main character’s imagination, and that he and Tyler were the same person the entire time. In this reflective paper, I’m going to be observing the direct relationship between Fight Club’s teachings and morals with those of the ancient philosophy, Taoism.
One of Taoism’s most well-known principles is Yin and Yang. Yin and Yang embodies the concept of two forces that are present everywhere, completely opposite to each other yet balanced. They can’t be separated from one another because they exist only together in comparison, and splitting them apart would only create the other anew. Although one force can take over the other for a short time, anything that is in a state of imbalance for long will cease to exist. There is an obvious correlation between the relationships of Yin/Yang and The Narrator/Tyler Durden.
Much like Yin/Yang, the narrator and his other half, Tyler, are complete opposites. Traditionally, Yin is described as the female side of the Ying and Yang connection. The Yin is generally affiliated with being, listening, and following, which is much like the narrator in Fight Club. The unnamed hero from Fight Club is a stereotypical “sensitive man” and isn’t satisfied with his life because of it. Tyler, on the other hand, acts as the Yang to the narrator’s Yin, being a go-getter and a man of action and doing,