“You don’t talk about Fight Club”



‘Fight Club’ is a 1996-book written by Chuck Palahniuk. It is a story of an anonymous person who is also the narrator here. The narrator suffers from insomnia initially in the story and then it turns out that he suffers from split personality disorder too.

The main characters are: the narrator, Tyler Durden and Marla Singer. The narrator lives in a flat, earns money by working in a car-rental company, travels a lot (because of work), and buys comfy and expensive furniture, curtains, dishes, rugs and all that stuff for himself. The narrator is a kind of person who will be considered normal in the present world or must I say that most of the people at present are like him. We want to work up to a certain age, earn money, travel around the world and live a luxurious life. So yeah, that’s how our narrator is but he suffers from insomnia because of the frequent business trips and jet lags. He lands up in a support group when his doctor tells him that he doesn’t know pain, so he should go and see the people in a support group and listen to them (that’s where he meets Marla). Then eventually he meets Tyler on a beach and start a ‘Fight Club’, hence the title of the novel.

Tyler Durden is the alternative personality of the narrator, who overtakes the narrator to such a level that many people (including Marla) know him as Tyler Durden. He takes over the narrator’s body when he is sleeping and does whatever he wants to. He is nothing like the narrator and everything that a person would want to be like – outspoken, cunning, adventurous, bold and truthful. His personality is such that all the people around him easily trust him so that so they don’t even ask him any questions about the stuff they are doing (keeping aside the fact that the first rule of ‘Project Mayhem’ is that ‘you don’t ask questions about Project Mayhem’ and the fifth rule is that ‘you’ve to trust Mr. Durden’). Also, another aspect of his personality is that he is highly pleasant and likeable. He easily builds strong relationships with the people he knows, be it the narrator, Marla Singer or the space monkeys. He can also be termed as self-destructive and insane, keeping in mind the stuff he does to himself and to others too (here referring to ‘Tyler’s Kiss’).

“Maybe self-improvement isn’t the answer.

Maybe self-destruction is the answer.”

Marla is the lone female character of the story. She wants to taste death but kind of doesn’t want to die. She goes to the support groups where she listens to people talking about their disease and their struggles with the disease. She overdoses on Xanax to feel how it feels while dying (not a “for-real suicide”). She is also self-destructive and dangerous in her own way and for her own reasons but at the same time she cares for people too (like the way she comes with all the support group people as the story is nearing its end). And once she tells the police that “she’s (Marla) confused and afraid to commit to the wrong thing so she won’t commit to anything”, referring to her insecurities.

Chuck Palahniuk has done a tremendous work. And I love the way he has written and made us understand about materialism, about how we mess-up our lives, how we are labeled, judged and controlled by all the things that won’t even matter in the long run and how we forget about the things that actually matter.


“How everything you ever love will reject you or die.

Everything you ever create will be thrown away.

Everything you’re proud of will end up as trash.”