Essay on 'Fight Club' Dissociative Identity Disorder

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What are some common themes and characteristics of postmodernism that occur in two texts that you have studied in this unit so far? Whatever texts you choose, make sure that you have read, listened to, or watched them in their entirety! For example, you might choose a movie and a poem or two movies. Also, consider how someone else might see things differently, that is, include some reference to a different interpretation that you don’t support but that others might.

Blade Runner directed by Ridley Scott and Fight Club directed by David Fincher, though extremely different from each other, share the common theme of postmodernism. Postmodernism is a way of representing a specific point in time, making it possible to historicize certain cultural behaviors. Postmodernism has been described in many ways by different theorists. It is incorporated into art, literature, fiction, architecture, and philosophy as well as cultural and literary criticisms. It is not certain whether or not postmodernism is good for society, but it does exist in the world today. The use of an unreliable narrator, intertextuality, as well as fragmentation, are all elements that are present in the films Blade Runner and Fight Club.

Blade Runner and Fight Club are equally tremendous films that represent different forms of post-modernism. Both films, due to their success have won many awards and accomplished much of what is expected from a movie criterion. Blade Runner has a great number of existential elements along with indications of post-modernism. Fight Club, on the other hand, showcases many sexual acts in addition to the extensive number of violent scenes while representing postmodernism in the theatre. The two films share similarities in terms of post-modern themes. Even though they share these similarities they are under different genres which makes them unique and unrelated in many other ways.

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A look at these postmodernist qualities in both movies begins with an unreliable narrator. The narrator in Fight Club is labeled as an individual who is not as reliable as he once was due to his split personality. Similarly, Deckard, who is the protagonist in Blade Runner, also loses his trusting quality due to his relations with a replicant that he had been ordered to assassinate. Due to Deckard’s feelings towards the replicant, throughout the film, the thought of him possibly being a replicant arises and is debated on many occasions (Saunders 2017). Likewise, the narrator in Fight Club deals with dissociative identity disorder. This disorder is the cause of Tyler Durden, who exists in the narrator’s imagination and is seen as his ulterior ego. As a valid example, The Narrator progressively becomes aware of the fact that there are two of him when questioning the bartender 'who do you think I am?' to which the bartender responds '...You're Tyler Durden' (Fincher 112). In general, Blade Runner is centered around unclear questions, however, mental illness is portrayed as a negative connotation for the protagonist in Fight Club. While the representation of an unreliable narrator affects the audience’s interpretation of the film, so does the interconnection of similar works or films. Intertextuality is another common aspect of post-modernism, that is also common in both Blade Runner and Fight Club.

Intertextuality requires the analysis of other sources to shape the content and its meaning by using literary devices. Some of these devices include allusion and pastiche. Intertextuality is an element that is consistent throughout Blade Runner. It is present through commercials, like the Coca-Cola logo, and additional iconography that is not affected by the Asian community. They are the majority that communicate their own “city speak” merging plenty of languages in the city of Los Angeles. Rachael who is a replicant in Blade Runner, is also known for mixing movements, styles, and hairdos from numerous periods. Blade Runner uses intertextual references through a more captivating and subtle method, Fight Club is very effective in their use of references, they are obvious and less complex than Blade Runner. During the bathroom scene in Fight Club, Tyler strikes a pose that is strangely similar to the Death of Marat painting by Jacques-Louis David ('The Death of Marat' 2017). Not finished

Finally, the use of fragmentation is evident in both films, although implemented differently in each one. Fragmentation is used in both movies to first analyze time and space to disrupt the chronological narrative, and second to split different generations. In Blade Runner, the focus is on the dividing and merging of previous and new genres to make an advanced joined reality that’s made up of science fiction as well as film noir. A grouping that is an example of fragmentation is the 1940s attire along with the hovering cars. On the other hand, Fight Club depends on the deliberate mutilation of time while breaking the fourth wall. Breaking the fourth wall is when the actor ignores the imaginary wall that keeps the performer from the audience, allowing the actor to speak directly to the audience. In a scene where Durden integrates pornographic pictures into movies that families watch, as a way to change the time for the people who are experiencing the film in a theatre setting. In the end, both movies carry out fragmentation in different ways, but both films have their distinctive ways of fragmenting their narratives by breaking down genres, space, and time successfully.

Both films succeed in revealing and questioning the realities, consequences, as well as weaknesses of modernism. Blade Runner can apply postmodernist elements to a higher degree compared to Fight Club, although questions are still left unanswered. Questions arise in Blade Runner concerning the possibility of Deckard being a replicant because of indications in the film. This confuses the right to exist for replicants, humanity, and the meaning that life has. Furthermore, the suspicion about what happens to society once the reset button is hit is left unexplained in Fight Club. It’s assumed that it may be necessary to dismantle the system altogether, but it is not clear how to do so. Conclusively, the idea of what comes with analysis of the modernist society is not tackled by Fight Club and Blade Runner.

Works Cited

    1. Entries must be alphabetized. See OWL at Purdue MLA.
    2. Bladerunner. Dir. Ridley Scott. Prod. Ridley Scott. N.p., n.d. Web.
    3. Fight club. Dir. David Fincher. N.p., n.d. Web.
    4. 'Blade Runner riddle solved'. BBC News. 2000-07-09. Retrieved 2017-11-30.
    5. 'The Death of Marat.' The Death of Marat - Jacques-Louis David. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 November. 2017.
    6. Wiehardt, Ginny. 'How to Recognize and Create an Unreliable Narrator.' The Balance. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 November. 2017. New Works Cited https://www.telegraph.co.uk/films/0/deckard-replicant-history-blade-runners-enduring-mystery/
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