Essay on Comparing and Contrasting Tolle and Palahniuk

Submitted By 123chivi321
Words: 1424
Pages: 6

Silvia Mendoza
Professor Wohlstadter
English 103-11:10 am
25 March 2014
A War Within: Fighting the Demon Within You There always comes a moment in life where you have to re-evaluate your life. Sometimes, you have to re-adjust your life to fit certain needs or wants. Other times, you just have to deal with your inner self. The inner self is something that we all have but not everyone realizes it. The basis of the books Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk and A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle is the fight with your inner self and what you can do to be at peace with your inner self. Both books have some parallels and some differences about the ego and its ideas. In Fight Club, the narrator is in conflict with Tyler because of the admiration and repulsion he feels towards him. In A New Earth, Tolle gives advice to people with problems such as the ones the narrator has with Tyler. A number of ideas proposed by Tolle in A New Earth are given life in Fight Club; some of those ideas are different while others are fairly similar. For example, in Fight club, some of those ideas are the narrator's wanting, the identification with his belongings, and the idea of dealing with the voice in his head. In Fight Club, the narrator has a problem with wanting certain specific items. For example, the narrator has a condominium that is well decorated and is filled with designer furniture. Even though the narrator has a nice condominium, he spends some of his time flipping through magazines looking for coffee tables or chairs to add to his condo so that they can define him as a person. This represents what Tolle says about wanting: "wanting is structural, so no amount of content can provide lasting fulfillment as long as that mental structure remains in place" (pg. 47). Here, Tolle explains that when people acquire an object they will be content with it only for a short moment before they find, or look for, something else that will satisfy them for another short moment. This then becomes a cycle in which the person involved experiences copious short-lived happy moments in life broken up by moments where the person feels the need to look for something else to make them feel satisfied. One other example of the narrator's wanting is when Tyler and the narrator meet at the beach. Palahniuk writes: "one minute was enough, Tyler said, a person had to work hard for it, but a minute of perfection was worth the effort. A moment was the most you could ever expect from perfection" (pg. 33). What this means is that Tyler is aware that the things that make people happy only last for a short time. Yet, he still works hard for it since it is something that he values. This ties in with what Tolle says in A New Earth. Tolle explains how the ego flourishes from the moments in which you feel accomplished and that the only way to destroy the ego is by realizing that those moments are filled with the ego. However, in Tyler's case, his ego is not necessarily identifying with objects but rather with the moments in which he feels satisfied with himself. Both Eckhart Tolle's and Chuck Palahniuk's books portray stories in which a character displays the ego by identifying with their belongings. One of the examples Tolle gives to illustrate this is the story of "the Lost Ring". The story talks about a lady who is sick and looses her ring while at the hospital; when asked if the ring's disappearance diminishes her self, she realizes it doesn't and ultimately dies at peace with her inner self. In Fight Club, Palahniuk shows the depth of the narrator's issue with object identification with his condominium. When Palahniuk states: "then you're trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you" he is referring to the narrator being trapped by his condo full of commodities ( pg. 43). Here, the narrator's ego is identifying with the things in the narrator's condominium. The quote also refers to how a person can become