Masculinity and Violence in Fight Club and Drowning Tucson

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However, when a generation of men is raised by women, there is no male example (Palahniuk 50) to follow and males only have that urge for liberalization and the need to ascertain their masculinity. One can see that the Tyler in Fight Club is the real macho man who tries to struggle away from the feminized Narrator, or, in other words, Tyler is the real male self of the Narrator. In fact, what Palahniuk points out and what the reader feels is that real masculinity involves surplus aggressiveness and sexual and emotional desires. In the real society, most males are forced to employ surplus repression to look civilized. Thus, there are institutions of male bonding which offer them a way to unleash this hidden aggression in the safest possible way. They engage in fist fight in such institutions and enjoy a sense of power. In the novel, the Narrator is a person who has lost his sense of manhood. He does not have a name, lives alone, and is unable to make healthy relations with others. This extreme pain and alienation makes the real man in him struggle away and become Tyler who wants to become the leader of the space monkeys (Palahniuk 132)…. The more comfortable the Narrator becomes with Marla, the more detached he gets with the destructive plans made by Tyler. Finally, by the time he admits he likes her, the Narrator is in total contradiction with Tyler, and eliminates him (Palahniuk 15). However, the men who are still isolated continue demanding the return of the anarchic Tyler. At least the Narrator realizes Marla is not the reason behind anarchy. Thus, one can see that there are various factors Palahniuk tries to point out as the reasons behind violence. The first one is the lack of role models of maleness for the new generation which is often brought up in a feminized society. The feminist era took away everything that is good as the virtues of femaleness and men of the post-feminist period were left with nothing more than mere ambiguity regarding masculinity and parenting (Palahniuk 141). The second important factor is the ‘homophobia’ developed by men in a patriarchal society. It is admitted facts that many hate crimes occur as a result of doubts over sexual orientation. In Fight Club, the Narrator gives Angel Face a severe beating to see that his beauty is reduced because the Narrator hates the favoritism Tayler shows towards him. (Palahniuk 96) Evidently, males have their own ways of measuring masculinity. To illustrate, in Fight Club, it is seen that the ability to conquer a woman is an important aspect of deciding ones maleness. As a result, there is a kind of rift between males that arises out of this competition to win women, and in the novel, there is a great degree of tension between Tayler and the Narrator in this regard. (Palahniuk 113) Thus, it becomes evident that men’s lives are structured around aggressiveness and power relations. The highly phallic notion of masculinity