This is Bob…

September 21, 2007

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I was a bit nervous coming into the class discussion today.  I really really like Fight Club and I was afraid that our post modern analysis of it could somehow take away from what I love about the movie.  Luckily, that was not the case.

Something that always interests me about the movie is Edward Norton’s description of his frequent flights and how he encounters everything in single-serving form.  Single serve meals, butter packets, shampoo/conditioner combos, and even single serve friends to describe the people he meets on the plane.  And it seems that things change in his life when he breaks away from the single serving mentality, especially with people.  His continuing attendance at the counseling groups have a profound effect on him, also his interactions with Tyler and Marla.  It seems that when he breaks away from his cozy little view of life and interacts with people more than once, it caused the changes on which the entire movie was built on.

In class we touched on capitalism and its role in the film.  Edward Norton goes to great detail in describing all of the things he has accumulated for his apartment, and he seems to be proud of it.  There is a scene where he tells Tyler that he is close to having the perfect wardrobe, and another where he claims that the apartment and all those things were his life.  No man’s life should be judged on what kind of end table he has, or how many ties he owns.  This is one of the things that Tyler helps Edward Norton see.  And I imagine that Edward Norton accumulated a pretty big credit card debt buying from all those catalogues and late night info-mercials.  Luckily he’ll never have to pay off that bill.  There are other attacks on capitalism in the film as well.  One assignment of Project Mayhem (the incident that ended with Bob’s death, I always feel so bad for Bob) was to destroy a piece of corporate art and take out a franchise coffee shop.  Then there is the soap; made from, well we all know what it’s made of.  That is an attack on high society and all those who can and surprisingly do pay $20 for soap that is made from, again, we know what it’s made of.     

We know that Tyler came into existence out of Edward Norton’s insomnia combined with his unhappiness in his life.  And all of Tyler’s characteristics come from being the opposite of what Edward Norton is, and that is what draws Edward Norton to Tyler in the first place.  As with most schizophrenia sufferers, the created ego once no longer supressed wants total control, which Tyler has for a majority of the movie.  However, slowly Edward Norton regains control.  And it is after the death of Bob that his mind starts to be getting clearer, because it is after the death of Bob that he goes some time without seeing Tyler.  And there is a scene towards the end where Tyler finally realizes what is happening and realizes that he needs Edward Norton if he wants to continue to be in the picture.  That is when Edward Norton is trying to stop Project Mayhem and also attemtps to shoot Tyler, and hits the van filled with soap.  This distresses Tyler because he realizes that if something happens to Edward Norton then Tyler won’t be around anymore.

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One Response to “This is Bob…”

  1. hannahzel said

    you talked about how no man should be judged by the ties he has or possesions that he owns. the capitalist consumerism is obviously the drive for owning all of these possesions. how could edward norton seem to want these things so badly, and tyler hate them so much? what kinds of things does tyler value? does he value anything? just random hypothetical questions that came to mind. i liked the last one…

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