I am the end of Joe’s book

October 3, 2007

In this last section of the novel we are made aware of the 2 casualties of project mayhem, Bob and Patrick Madden.  We learn that Bob was killed by the police while out on a mission for project mayhem.  And no matter how many times you see the movie or read the book, you cannot help but feel sorry for Big Bob.  I thought it was interesting that Patrick Madden was murdered.  We learn that he worked for the mayor and was compiling a list of all the fight club locations and was most likely going to make an attempt at shutting them down.  When it looked like this was happening in Seattle, the space monkeys got to the judge and with the help of a rubber band and a large knife, got him to back off.  I am curious why the same tactics were not used on Patrick Madden, why he instead was murdered.  This is the first outright violent act of project mayhem, instead of an act of vandalism to make a point.

The end of the novel is quite different from that of the film.  The narrator still shoots off part of his own face to try and get rid of Tyler, but the building does not explode and destroy the museum beneath it, as was the original goal.  It’s interesting that in the end it is Marla, along with the others from the support group, who show up and save the narrator. 

“‘We followed you,” Marla yells.  ‘All the people from the support group.  You don’t have to do this.  Put the gun down.’  Behind Marla, all the bowel cancers, the brain parasites, the melanoma people, the tuberculosis people are walking, limping, wheeling toward me.  They’re saying ‘Wait.’  Their voices come to me on the cold wind, saying, ‘Stop.’  And, ‘We can help you.’  ‘Let us help you'”

These are the same people who the narrator who has been lying to each night for the past two years.  He made them all think he was dying like they were; he even cried with them.  And it is even revealed to these people that he has been lying to them, this occurs during his argument with Marla.  But for some reason these people show up anyway.  It seems to again prove the narrator’s notion that when people think you’re dying, they will do anything for you.  And even though he is not dying in the same way they are, he is still dying.

There seems to be no real end however.  The narrator is in the hospital, which is filled with the disciples of Tyler Durden.  Fight club has become able to function on its own and seems to be thriving, even without the creator/leader.  It would seem as if the center has shifted, and fight club/project mayhem now has a new center.  As the hospital employee whispers, “Everything’s going according to plan,”  “We’re going to break up civilization so we can make something better out of the world,”  and “We look forward to getting you back.” 

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2 Responses to “I am the end of Joe’s book”

  1. lakersgirl said

    The end of the novel kind of threw me off because even though I know that directors often take liberties when recreating a text to put it into video form, I wasn’t expecting the ending to be altered so drastically. In your last paragraph, you state that “the narrator is in the hospital” and I’m wondering if you literally mean hospital or just chose that wording because it sounds a bit nicer than “mental institution” or something. The reason I ask is because until today’s discussion, I felt that the closing scene was taking place in a hospital and the idea of an institution didn’t occur to me. I guess my reasoning is that when you blow off half your face you might need some surgeries or medical care so it didn’t seem odd to me when they said they brought his food and medicine — it just sounded like a regular day at the hospital to me. Just was wondering how your thought process went too…

  2. Marina said

    Hey Ryan,

    I’m going back a ways here but I liked your discussion about Marla and the cancer patients at the end of the novel. What I thought was interesting was how Marla seemed to be in the same boat, or in unison rather, with all the people from the support groups. It’s interesting how you say they are all grouped together as the people the narrator constantly lied to. What I found interesting was the idea that hes connection with Marla was through the support groups and in the end its as if the support groups who brought Marla to him are again there for support. I like your point about no matter how much he lied to them they are there to support him in a way. I feel like its a large picture of how he and Marla came together because they are all there again just as they were when he and Marla first met…It’s just a thought!

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