"I am Jack's Raging Bile Duct": Fight Club and the American Mythology of Violence in the Postmodern Moment

Freed, Robin Noelle , Department of English, University of Virginia
Howard, Alan, Department of English, University of Virginia

In Richard Slotkin's Regeneration through violence he explains how "the myth of regeneration through violence became the structuring metaphor for the American experience" (5). Throughout history "a new captivity, a new hunt, and a new ceremony of exorcism repeat the myth-scenario on a progressively deeper, more internal level" (565). Using Slotkin's thesis as a framework I will focus on the 1999 film Fight Club arguing that the film is a postmodern reinterpretation of the myth of regeneration through violence. By examining the themes of doubling and masculinity, the thesis examines how violence becomes a means by which the men in the film try to escape the banality of their quotidian lives.
Dissertation Note

MA (Master of Arts)

Originally published on the XRoads site for the UVA American Studies program. Years range from 1995-2005. Content is captured at the level of functionality available on the date of capture.

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