Masculine and feminine: Interdependent gender roles in ‘fight club’
Author(s): Atif Sadikkhan Mandori
Abstract: The notion of men and women being reliant on one another is present in modern culture, as evidenced in the film adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk’s novel Fight Club—a film which is, ironically, loosely associated with male independence. I argue in this essay that Marla Singer and the narrator’s (Jack’s) respective femininity and masculinity are dependent on that of the other. Jack cannot be masculine while Marla exhibits overly masculine traits; Marla cannot be feminine while Jack exhibits overly feminine traits. Thereby, this film exerts the necessity for long-established gender constructs, suggesting that two people of the opposite sex cannot peacefully coexist while both display the same stereotypical gender traits, and that neither can achieve proper ethos until they are together and exhibiting their assigned traits.