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An anthropological analysis of Fight Club (1999)

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  1. Introduction
  2. The storyline
  3. The material culture
  4. Tyler Durden
  5. An interesting cultural clash
  6. The contrast between the everyman's residence and Tyler's residence
  7. The contrast between Tyler's house and the everyman's condo
  8. Conclusion

Fight Club, a 1999 movie directed by David Fincher, has been heavily lauded since its release ten years ago. It was loved by all sorts of people for its gritty portrayal of violence, the brilliant acting, and its twist ending. But beneath these things lie some deeper themes that have boosted this film into the ?cult classic? category. In its essence, Fight Club is a story that speaks on all the harmful aspects of material culture and conformity.

[...] The more primitive lifestyle of Tyler is suggested to be the more natural path for humans. People tend to give into the guise of materialism due to the strong influence of cultural norms. However, when given the opportunity, most people will give up materialism to return to a simpler lifestyle. This is ultimately why the everyman converts to Tyler's ways so quickly. The film takes place in what is presumed to be Wilmington, Delaware. By objective standards, it could be fair to consider Wilmington a pretty average representation of the typical American city. [...]

[...] But he is able to distract himself from all of these problems by filling his condominium with tertiary items. Occupied by his possessions, the everyman can continue living his life in a neutral, zombie-like state. It is interesting to note that this movie was created before the existence of iPods, Facebook, Twitter, and Blackberry phones. The everyman's ?fortunes? turn around when he meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) on a business trip. Through a series of coincidental events, the everyman comes to live with Tyler in a highly rundown house in the industrial section of town. [...]

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