A Tyler of Our Own
Moving on. Hasn’t everyone looked in the mirror before and seen his or herself? Not their reflection. Rather, a separate tangible double of his or herself. A self, often referred to as a doppelgänger, which resembles them, but appears to represent the darker side of the individual. Besides How I Met Your Mother, which is more of a comic representation of doppelgängers, Fight Club exists as a salient example of doppelgängerdom.
Like most people, I have seen Fight Club several times and each time I watch the film I am reminded of the doppelgänger phenomenon. However, upon re-watching Fight Club this past week I came to view the movie in a new light. Maybe it was the Vardoulakis article; maybe it was something else ( it was likely the Vardoulakis article), but I began to look past Fight Club as a film about the doppelgänger of our beloved “Jack.” In fact, I now see the entire film as a doppelgänger to our “reality.” The world we traverse. This may seem a little far-fetched, but after careful examination I believe that this has merit. Who is our protagonist? No one? On the contrary, he is everyone. He may as well be named Jack Everyman. “Jack” represents a generation of consumers; a group of people who’s lives are nothing more than a figure.
However, this is not how most of these people would view his or herself. Many of these people would believe that this is exactly how their life is supposed to be and not be overly depressed about it, but I can only speculate. “Jack” is everyone’s doppelgänger and, because the audience is viewing this film from the perspective of “Jack,” the representation is far from “reality,” but close enough that the film itself is a doppelgänger of our “real” world. Not a realistic view of “reality,” but the “evil twin” of the world. In a sense, Fight Club provides a slightly tweaked mirror view of the world. We can gaze into the frame of the film and see glimpses that remind us of our world, but it is a world that is vastly different characteristically than ours. It reminds us of our own world, because “Jack” exhibits feelings and emotions that are present in most of us, but at the same time these feelings are taken to extremes that are rarely seen in our world. If the events of Fight Club are juxtaposed against our own reality, then the movie can be seen as a warning against the lose of identity in a consumer driven world. The fact that the film serves as a warning fits the doppelgänger motif perfectly, because, historically, when a subject happens to gaze upon their doppelgänger, as we have done with Fight Club, it becomes a “death sentence.” However, it is not my opinion that the film is condemning our societal souls to death by loss of meaning and agency. The film is merely a prophecy of death. Prophecies do not always come true, but without intervention they become more true as time passes. Therefore, Fight Club is our Tyler. As Tyler awakens “Jack,” the film must awaken us and force us to be aware of our existence within society.