Critical Analysis of the movie Fight Club
The movie Fight Club is an in depth look at the contrast between three different organizations and how each one of them led one man to seek a higher purpose and a more satisfying existence by associating himself with those organizations. In an effort to understand more fully how Organizational Behavior concepts apply to this particular movie, we will look at each group individually, compare and contrast the main purpose of those groups with one another, and then we will explore how the concepts of Organizational Behavior apply to each group.
At the start of the movie we are presented with a nameless character who never actually reveals his name. He works for a major automotive company and is dissatisfied with his current employment. From the outset of the film, the viewer is able to recognize the job he holds isn’t important to the story line, as much as the idea of being a nameless worker bee in the middle structure of some major corporation. The level of responsibility and job title likewise hold little to know importance except to illustrate a cycle of powerlessness to change the corporate structure. The fact that the main character is nameless, powerless, and dissatisfied with his career is important in that it shapes many of the attitudes and much of the groundwork for the working themes of the movie.
We know that emotions lead to the development of attitudes, and our attitudes lay the groundwork for our behaviors. When one is emotionally satisfied with any given situation, their outlook and attitude about that given situation is predominantly positive. With a positive mindset, one tends to exhibit positive behaviors. We know the opposite to be true as well. Following the rational behavior model laid out in chapter 4 of the book, given any perceived environment, a person is going to present with emotional episodes based upon their attitudes about the environment, positive or negative. Such is the case with our main character. He has such a negative attitude about his life and sense of fulfillment; he begins to experience emotional dissonance. He experiences an internal conflict between the required emotions of his job and his true disdain for the person he is and who he would like to be.
Our main character as a result of this dissonance begins to experience insomnia. He finds himself “not really awake, not really asleep.” His job requires that he travel and he begins to feel that his life is time-zones and airports, single-serving packets of sugar, and microwaveable chicken cordon bleu. He feels as though he has no real friends because of his hectic shallow existence. He seeks medical intervention for his inability to sleep and is directed to group therapy.
In therapy he finds a group of individuals not bound by the rigid structure and meaningless existence that defines his career. He finds a group of people who suffer from a variety of problems ranging from blood parasites to tuberculosis; cancer to other terminal medical conditions. He finds a satisfaction and self-realization not perceived in his job. He’s able to sleep with ease and has found meaning in his existence once again. It’s never indicated how long he attended group therapy, but from all indications, it lasts for several months until he meets Marla Singer.
Marla, like himself is a faker. She doesn’t suffer from any of the previously mentioned terminal illnesses, yet she attends group therapy. Never is Marla’s work indicated so it’s never made clear why Marla attends group therapy, but with another “faker” present, our main character finds it impossible to release the anger and frustration and inadequacies he feels brought about by his job. He tries to confront her and convince her not to attend, but to no avail. Left with no outlet for the emotion our main character is...
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