Presentation Title

Bad Faith, Finitude, and Meaning in Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club

Presenter Information

Trisha Beringer

Mentor

Brian Kanouse

Location

David F. Putnam Science Center - 126

Abstract

Soap. It is used to wash our hands, wash our bodies, and clean almost everything. According to Tyler Durden, one of the main protagonists in Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club, soap is a bi-product of human sacrifice and destruction. It is through destruction of the material world that Durden cleanses himself. Though the novel pulls its reader through a whirlwind of violence, it also reveals a passageway for ridding ourselves of the sickness of social conformity. In essence, the text offers the soap for our current generation. In this paper, I utilize the existential concepts of bad faith, meaning, and finitude to uncover how the main character in Fight Club creates meaning in his life through destruction. However, I argue that the message of the novel is ultimately hopeful. It challenges readers not to limit themselves, rather, to seek out meaning through accepting responsibility for one’s own life.

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Apr 11th, 3:05 PM Apr 11th, 4:05 PM

Bad Faith, Finitude, and Meaning in Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club

David F. Putnam Science Center - 126

Soap. It is used to wash our hands, wash our bodies, and clean almost everything. According to Tyler Durden, one of the main protagonists in Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club, soap is a bi-product of human sacrifice and destruction. It is through destruction of the material world that Durden cleanses himself. Though the novel pulls its reader through a whirlwind of violence, it also reveals a passageway for ridding ourselves of the sickness of social conformity. In essence, the text offers the soap for our current generation. In this paper, I utilize the existential concepts of bad faith, meaning, and finitude to uncover how the main character in Fight Club creates meaning in his life through destruction. However, I argue that the message of the novel is ultimately hopeful. It challenges readers not to limit themselves, rather, to seek out meaning through accepting responsibility for one’s own life.