Femininity in Fight Club

The first rule about Fight Club is that you do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is you do not talk abou- Okay, that joke has been made countless amounts of times so, let’s just get straight into this.

One of the first lines in the film is “Somehow, I realize all of this- the gun, the bombs, the revolution- is really about Marla Singer.” This line sums up a  lot of the film, and you can see the film as being all about Marla. When The Narrator is finally at a point in his life where he can sleep – Marla Singer played by Helena Bonham Carter, walks right into his life. He talks about how she has ruined everything, because now he can’t cry and he can’t sleep.

Marla could be described as a manic depressive, since she walks into the road with no care if she gets hit or not and she swallows a bottle of sleeping pills as an overdose- however she then calls The Narrator to tell her what she has done, so she could also be seen as slightly bi-polar. Marla then enters into a sexual relationship with Brad Pitt’s character the infamous Tyler Durden. However we never see Tyler, Marla and The Narrator in the same room together- hinting to the plot twist towards the end of the movie when we find out that Tyler isn’t real and he is simply The Narrator’s alter ego.

Many critics have tried to make the point that Marla is only there as a sexual object and that she is only there for Tyler Durden to have sex with him- as the sex scenes are very explicit but, can be seen as almost artwork due to the strange angles and the almost photographic style of them. People were also very shocked and did not like the line she speaks after sleeping with Tyler- “I haven’t been f**ked like that since grade school,” which is a very young age for someone in America- and as many people from the UK do not know the ages of grade school- they may have just looked past this controversial line. However, the line is very different in the book as once Marla has sex with Tyler in the book she says “I want to have your abortion,” this line was cut from the film and replaced with the line that did make it into the film.

Many people could argue that Marla is still not a very strong character as right at the end of the film she still needs to be saved by The Narrator when Project Mayhem take her and bring her to him when the buildings are about to be blown up. However, Marla is the one who almost saves the Narrator as he realises that Marla is what he needs in his life and she may be the one that can help him with his insomnia once Tyler is out of the picture. The end of the film is particularly interesting as the last shot is of the Narrator and Marla holding hands as the buildings all fall down- almost showing that even thought there is so much destruction, there is still love in the world.


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