“We’re seeing mainstream ‘normal’ folks, who look normal, and have normal jobs, being so desperately unhappy….And I think that’s how ‘Fight Club’ really resonates with all of us.”
– Janet Kinch
Those familiar with the story know that, in many respects, Tyler Durden isn’t a good role model. He and his followers do, however, fight consumerism and materialism.
“It’s sort of ironic, too, all of the things I dreamt about buying some day if I had money. Now that I have money I really don’t have interest in things….At this point I recognize the burden that things are. . . . “
– Chuck Palahniuk, interview
I read a lot and don’t see many movies, so the below quotes are from the book. They may or may not match what’s said in the movie, though I understand that all the same anti-consumerist, anti-materialist ideas appear in the film.
It took my whole life to buy this stuff. . . . You buy furniture. . . . Buy the sofa. . . . Then the right set of dishes. Then the perfect bed. The drapes. The rug. Then you’re trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you. [narrator]
A lot of young people try to impress the world and buy too many things. . . . A lot of young people don’t know what they really want. . . . If you don’t know what you want, you end up with a lot you don’t. [doorman]
It’s only after you’ve lost everything that you’re free to do anything. [Tyler]
Getting fired is the best thing that could happen to any of us. That way, we’d quit treading water and do something with our lives. [Tyler]
If this might be the last time they saw you, they really saw you. Everything else about their checkbook balance and radio songs and messy hair went out the window. [narrator]
I’m breaking my attachment to physical power and possessions because only through destroying myself can I discover the greater power of my spirit. . . . The teacher who clears all possessions from my path will set me free. [Tyler]
As long as you’re at fight club, you’re not how much money you’ve got in the bank. You’re not your job. [mechanic]
What will you wish you’d done before you died? [mechanic]
I am stupid, and all I do is want and need things. My tiny life. My little shit job. My Swedish furniture. [narrator]
Advertising has these people chasing cars and clothes they don’t need. Generations have been working in jobs they hate, just so they can buy what they don’t really need. [mechanic]
I’d rather kill you than see you working a shit job for just enough money to buy cheese and watch television. [narrator]
I hated my life. I was tired and bored with my job and my furniture, and I couldn’t see any way to change things. Only end them. I felt trapped….I wanted a way out of my tiny life. [narrator]
“You feel trapped — locked to your job by the golden handcuffs. Now that you’ve created this wonderful lifestyle, built up to this level of financial security, how can you unlock the handcuffs and make a change?”
What about you? Do you feel owned by stuff? Trapped by your lifestyle?
Most of us can’t completely change our lives overnight, but by simplifying your life now, you can, over time, downsize your home, sell excess possessions, cut back on future purchases and pay off debts.
All this will help give you the freedom to look for work that you find more fulfilling and/or work fewer hours so you don’t feel trapped in “your lovely nest.”