The book opens with the narrator describing the many possible ways to blow up a building. Already a theme is emerging - the narrator or Tyler is portraying complete and uttler chaos and a loathing of materialism and structure in general. And then we are introduced into the narrators life - he is a traveling insurance guy who seems happy enough with his life. As the story progresses, we realize the narrator has some serious issues. We find out that he goes to groups for terminally ill people, because he needs to have a good cry in order to sleep at night.
Crying is right at hand in the smothering dark, closed inside someone else, when you see how everything you can ever accomplish will end up as trash. Anything you're ever proud of will be thrown away.
However truthful this may be, it's also very concerning.
We're also gaining insight into how the narrator may be living a double life. He suffers from insomnia and we learn that Tyler works at night. We also learn that Tyler shares the narrators discontent at society - he works a movie projector and takes snippets of porn flicks and splices them into Disney movies. This is a more comical way of being devious.
Then, by some random act - the narrator's entire apartment is blown up. Does anyone have an idea on who or what was responsible for the explosion? Was it Tyler, Marla or really just a gas leak? Whatever the cause, this forces the main character to now abandon all the material goods he accumulated over the years. I see this as a necessary development in the story. He seemed to care so much about all the things he collected, but he needed to be free of them. Without a place to live, he calls Tyler and decides to move in with him. Tyler asks him to punch him as hard as he can, and then it starts...
I don't want to die without a few scars
maybe self-improvement isn't the answer, maybe self-destruction is the answer
This thinking is along the lines of having to hit rock bottom in order to pick yourself up. The fighting becomes such a release for the narrator. He's not even upset that Marla ruined all the support groups for him anymore. The word spreads and fight club grows. Another emerging theme - everyone at fight club is fighting for something. (Tyler fights his dad.)
As the narrator puts it, after fighting for a while, everything else seems less scary. I guess that pushing one's body physically and mentally to it's limits can teach you something about yourself and your personal demons. What do you think?
Finally, there is some duality going on - who you are in fight club is not who you are in the real world. You may be an accountant Monday-Friday but at fight club, you may be a hero.
Any thoughts on this?