Fight Club is Chuck Palahniuk's first written novel. It is easy to that this novel has the components of a piece of literature written by an experienced writer. What makes Fight Club interesting is its multi-layered nature with several subplots and themes that are sometimes very arduous to identify. One such plot of the book is the idea of the destruction of the modern day American male due to capitalist and consumerist thought and the vital role that woman have played. Even from the beginning of the novel, it seems to have an anti-capitalist and anti-feminist tone. The only solution to this epidemic in the eyes of Tyler Durden, the protagonist, is destruction and the return to the primal.
Throughout the novel, capitalism is condemned with special attention given to materialism of modern day society. Fight Club illustrates the consumer culture in which the twentieth century male exists in and how it has led to the destruction of the individual and in essence individuality. The main character of the novel, the Narrator, an unnamed "thirty year old boy" who is employed in the recall division of the Federated Motor Corporation is the personification of the modern day American male raised in a capitalist society.
He is a person that clearly defines himself through the possessions he owns. " The people I know used to sit in the bathroom with pornography, now they sit in the bathroom with their IKEA furniture catalogue". (Palahniuk, 43) The transition to a capitalist mentality is clearly depicted in this quote by the Narrator. It appears that the reference to the IKEA catalogue has an important role in describing consumerist thoughts and the role of capitalism in everyday life. Even with our free time we are still heavily sedated with capitalist ideologies and behaviours. The Narrator also says, while looking through the IKEA catalogue, " What kind of plates define me as a person". Here it is evident that it is not the character of the individual and attributes that define him as an individual but what possessions the individual owns most accurately does.