The Subject of Male Hysteria and Male Masochism in David Fincher’s Fight Club

  • VOULA CHOURDAKI PHD CANDIDATE
Keywords: cinema; identity; stereotypes; masculinity; sexuality; hysteria; masochism

Abstract

The current research paper explores the various themes found in David Fincher’s 1999 film Fight Club with a focus upon the subject of male hysteria and male masochism as shown through the main character’s point of view. The fear of metaphorical emasculation in the contemporary materialistic and capitalistic society, the identity crisis as well as the notion of physical violence as a means against all threats to masculinity are thoroughly discussed and interrelated. What this paper also attempts to look at is the duality of self, gender and sexuality stereotypes and the delusional expectations the modern individual has acquired which lead the latter to total paranoia and inner/outer chaos; all seen through the eyes of the film’s director and protagonist.

References

Creed , Barbara. “Dark Desires. Male Masochism in the Horror Film”. Screening the Male. Exploring Masculinities in Hollywood Cinema. Eds. Steven Cohan and Ina Rae Hark. New York: Routledge, 1993. 118-133. Print.
Giroux, Henry A. and Imre Szeman. “Ikea Boy Fights Back: Fight Club, Consumerism, and the Political Limits of Nineties Cinema.” The End of Cinema As We Know It: American Film in the Nineties. Ed. Jon Lewis. London: Pluto Press, 2001. 95-104. Print.
Gronstad, Asbjorn. “One-Dimensional Men: Fight Club and the Poetics of the Body.” Film Criticism 27.1 (2003): 1-13 . Print.
Neale, Steve. “Masculinity as Spectacle.” The Sexual Subject: A Screen Reader in Sexuality. Ed. Many Merck. London: Routledge, 1992. 277-87. Print.
Quiney, Ruth. “Mr. Xerox”, the Domestic Terrorist, and the Victim-Citizen: Masculine and National Anxiety in Fight Club and Anti-Terror Law.” Law and Literature 19 (2007): 327-354. JSTOR. Web. 4 April 2012.
Rehling, Nicola. Extra-Ordinary Men: White Heterosexual Masculinity and Contemporary Popular Cinema. Lanham, MA: Lexington, 2009. Print.
Ta, Lynn M. “Hurt So Good: Fight Club, Masculine Violence and the Crisis of Capitalism.” The Journal of American Culture 23.9 (2006): 265-77. Web. 2 June 2009.
Windrum, Ken. “Fight Club and the Political (Im)potence of Consumer Era Revolt.” New Hollywood Violence. Ed. Jay Schneider. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2004. 304-317. Print .
Published
2019-07-13