Essay on Identity: Novel and Narrator

Submitted By Ratheeshan-Arumugam
Words: 1149
Pages: 5

“I know this because Tyler knows this” Identity is something that defines each person and makes each and every one unique. Just like our social surrounding, our identity changes in order for us to adapt to our environment. In the novel the narrator suffers multiple identity disorder due to his medical problem, insomnia. This causes him to unconsciously create a new side, a side with physical attribution the narrator wished he obtained. The fight club novel by chuck Palahniuk presents this theme to tell the story of how the narrator’s personality is changed after meeting Tyler.

The narrator starts off as a troubled person with a lack of personality. He relates his life to a trash, a life with no purpose no sense of belonging and no sense of direction. the narrator befriends ,Tyler, a character that the narrator created in his head. Tyler is seen as the complete opposite of the narrator. As he can be described as a strong,agressive and free spirited person.As the story progresses the narrator who was protrayed with a feminine personality by his society starts starts to gradually change into Tyler and slowly develops a sense of masculainity.An example of masculanity from the narrator was at the bar with tyler. As they begin to drink Tyler request a punch because as he believes that man is only man if he has the scars to prove it . This causes the narrator to strike him twice due to dissatisfaction of his first impact .”Shit that doesn't count. I want to try it again.” (ch 5) This Near the end, when the narrator finds out that someone has been killed during the fight club, the narrator goes in search of his friend and asks every participant if they have seen Tyler and they all reply by saying ”never heard of him but you might find him in Chicago”. This example, one of the many passages shows that Tyler is only seen by the narrator and not by others, He is only active in his mind has while his medical problem insomnia acts up. Even though they all have heard about the cofounder no one has actually seen or communicated with him. From here we can learn that there’s a correlation between his medical problem and his multiple identity disorder. As the story advances, as the narrator slowly regains his personality and his insomnia just like his multiple disorder starts to slowly wear down and Tyler starts to slowly vanish from his head.

The novel aspect of the theme identity is showcased through the narrator. The narrator symbolizes lack of masculanity by showing show that his life is bleak and soon realizes that life without any identity is not only a life that is wasted but also the worst kind of death. “He describes his life, his job like the life of a space monkey”(pg 4) always doing small little tasks exactly the way you’re told in exchange for little rewards but not knowing why. Just like a space monkey worthless. As the story progresses the narrator doubts who starts to get tired of his soft, weak, furniture loving person personality as well as his valueless life and wishes to “wake up in a different place, at a different time”(pg 29. Realizing his life he unconsciously creates a new character. A character that is totally opposite, a character with a free-spirited, devious, anarchistic, violent, and funny personality. The character, Tyler is created to boost the narrator and change not only his lifestyle but also his personality Throughout the whole story the author foreshadows the plot twist by giving many hints to show that Tyler and the narrator is really only one character. The first hint is the great amount of similarities the two characters have, from having the same thoughts and doing the same things. As well as them both not having a father figure in their lives. “I know a computer blew up I know this because Tyler knows this” (pg 137). The Narrator is always seen relating his knowledge and actions back to Tyler as though he is psychic. During many parts if the story, the narrator suddenly has the power