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Remaining men together - viewing the male in Chuck Palahniuks Fight Club
2002 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year))Student thesis
Abstract [en]

The issue of the modern American male has been a point of interest during the last couple of years not only in the academic world but also in the fictional. American author Chuck Palahniuk writes in his debut novel Fight Club (1997) about how the American male has been stripped of his traditional ways of affirming his maleness and what the consequences becomes. In this study of how Palahniuks novel corresponds with the real situations that American men face today I have come to the conclusion that Fight Club indeed has something to say about how modern males live today in America. I examine how the protagonist of Palahniuk´s novel develops from a mild mannered office working man in his thirties into an anarchic madman determined to bring the western economy to a halt in order to reclaim his inherent and by society outlawed masculinity. I proceed to analyse Fight Club´s protagonist in relation to the issues of: violence and fascism, money and consumption, the male at work, the male body, men’s fathers, society and culture, and men’s groups and manhood rituals. These fields of concern have been distilled from the source material I have used and they all concern the modern male. In real life these issues have an important bearing on how men live today and how they form their own male identity. The conclusion I reach also states that even though Palahniuk exaggerate the conditions and actions of his protagonist he clearly makes a point that the behaviour of the protagonist is a result of a society that seems to deem traditional masculinity obsolete. I also argue that we today must open up a conversation with men in order to prevent the emergence of unhealthy and violent tendencies amongst the males as a result of a male-oppressive culture. Keywords Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk, the modern male, the American male, masculinity, maleness, male identity.

Abstract [en]

The issue of the modern American male has been a point of interest during the last couple of years not only in the academic world but also in the fictional. American author Chuck Palahniuk writes in his debut novel Fight Club (1997) about how the American male has been stripped of his traditional ways of affirming his maleness and what the consequences becomes. In this study of how Palahniuks novel corresponds with the real situations that American men face today I have come to the conclusion that Fight Club indeed has something to say about how modern males live today in America. I examine how the protagonist of Palahniuk´s novel develops from a mild mannered office working man in his thirties into an anarchic madman determined to bring the western economy to a halt in order to reclaim his inherent and by society outlawed masculinity. I proceed to analyse Fight Club´s protagonist in relation to the issues of: violence and fascism, money and consumption, the male at work, the male body, men’s fathers, society and culture, and men’s groups and manhood rituals. These fields of concern have been distilled from the source material I have used and they all concern the modern male. In real life these issues have an important bearing on how men live today and how they form their own male identity. The conclusion I reach also states that even though Palahniuk exaggerate the conditions and actions of his protagonist he clearly makes a point that the behaviour of the protagonist is a result of a society that seems to deem traditional masculinity obsolete. I also argue that we today must open up a conversation with men in order to prevent the emergence of unhealthy and violent tendencies amongst the males as a result of a male-oppressive culture. Keywords: Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk, the modern male, the American male, masculinity, maleness, male identity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. , 28 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-53895Local ID: ENG D-13OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-53895DiVA: diva2:1102455
Subject / course
English
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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  • apa
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  • en-US
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