Essay Example on Capitalism and Consumerism in the Film Fight Club

Published: 2019-08-30
Essay Example on Capitalism and Consumerism in the Film Fight Club
Categories:  Capitalism Consumerism Movie
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 932 words
8 min read

The film Fight Club is an American movie directed by David Fincher in 1999, which starred Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, and Helena Bonham Carter. Within the film, one would notice numerous social contemporary issues such as the feminization of the American culture, the effects it has on masculinity and consumerism culture. The film has sparked different notions amongst the academicians where others have termed it to be retro-noir and slumming trauma. However, the biggest element that has been associated with the film has been on consumerism culture where it indicates that it is a societal problem (Bainbridge& Candida, 2005). Furthermore, the Fight Club portrays the concept of capital consumerism as part of its core satirical critique.

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In the movie, Tyler represents the group of people that are jammers of culture and situations. According to him, he believes that he would have a free life if he creates situations in everyday life whereby he challenges the spectacle of the society at its core. He is not interested in buying the products that are in the market for the consumer as the film shows that he is comfortable with making his products such as soap. At the same time, he lives in a rundown mansion where he is jobless and deals with other culture jammers that assist him in conducting mayhem and mischief against consumer capitalism (Boon, 2003). He participates in jamming the consumer culture such as adding pornography into the family movies; he pisses in the soup that is supposed to be served to the rich and produces expensive soaps that the raw materials are from the fat that has been sacked out of the rich women who attend the liposuction clinic.

At the same time, his protege creates project mayhem where he started a fire in a corporate building, painted a demonic face on the side, and threatened that he would chop off the testicles of the officials who wanted to shut down the fight club. Moreover, they engage themselves in playing deadly games on the freeway(Bainbridge& Candida, 2005). If one looks at the violence in the film, they will notice that it is associated with keeping the desires of the producers of the movie through satirizing consumerism and entertaining the extreme opponents. The assassination of the hostile local official indicated that the film indicated a real violent situation without looking at the fantasy part.

Moreover, the creation of the fight club itself is an indication of the allegory of the anti-consumerist. For instance, the creation of the fight club within the modern society and the real world would be a bad ideology for the participants and a negative model for one to use in solving social problems. According to the makers of the film, the concept of creating the fight club was to compete with some of the ideas that established it such as ESPN and espresso machine(Ta, 2006). Moreover, his completion is the amount of violence exhibited in the American popular culture where mass slaughter is not prohibited in the modern world and technological world such as in Terminator and Black Hawk Down.

When it comes to understanding and accepting the fistfight, one would notice that the concept is positive when it is compared to the scenes where there are a lot of Gatling fire coming from the helicopters hovering on the Iraqi or Vietnamese villages. Moreover, the concept is seen to be shocking when it is compared to the killings in the Gulf War in 1991(Boon, 2003). From the concept portrayed by the filmmakers, the idea of using violence in the fight club is to instigate an allegorical point on the nature in which the infantile ethos within the modern consumerism can be applicable in alienating individuals from their bodies through the sites of Eros and Thanatos.

As one looks at Tyler, they would understand that anti-consumerism theory plays a significant role in his life. At the same time, he is confident about his philosophy on consumerism where he uses historical terms in his speech in the movie. He implies,

I see the strongest and smartest men who have ever lived... and these men are pumping gas and waiting tables. You have a class of strong men and women, and they want to give their lives to something. Advertising has these people chasing cars and clothes they dont need. Generations have been working in jobs they hate so that they can buy what they dont need. (Bainbridge & Candida, 2005)

In his speech, he indicates that the concept of consumerism is controlled by the false needs that are inflicted to the society by the mass media. The statement also implies that he believes that his concept should be enacted by everybody in the society to make sense. For instance, he implies that they might go on strike to be heard, yet the people might refuse to go back to work with the impression that the resources should be divided equally (Ta, 2006). Therefore, it would be prudent to understand that the fascination of the society and consumerism to be fascinated with possessions are exemplified by the concept portrayed by Condo of the narrator through his impression of the the Ikea nesting instinct or the fight club.


Bainbridge, C,&Candida Y. (2005)Cinematic Symptoms of Masculinity in Transition: Memory, History and Mythology in Contemporary Film. Psychoanalysis, Culture, and Society 10 299-318.

Boon, K, A. (2003)Men and Nostalgia for Violence: Culture and Culpability in Chuck Palahniuks Fight Club." Journal of Mens Studies 11.3.

Ta, L,M. (2006)Hurt So Good: Fight Club, Masculine Violence, and the Crisis of Capitalism. The Journal of American Culture 29: 265-277.

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