Yesterday in class, I mentioned that the movie Fight Club was in many ways like Freud's studies of the conscious and subconscious. Freud essentially breaks down the structural model of the life into the id, ego and super-ego and in many ways, the protagonist of Fight Club, Tyler Durden represents all three parts of this physic apparatus. In the movie, Brad Pitt and Ed Norton play different parts of Tyler Durden's consciousness. Brad Pitt represents the id, the subconscious, the part of us that seeks pleasure at all costs and has no morality. Like suggested in Notes From the Underground, Brad Pitt’s character find pleasure in pain and thus develops a fight club in order to achieve this delight. Also, Freud explains that the id is where man’s aggressive nature originates and in Fight Club Durden’s aggressiveness is definitely unleashed. Ed Norton’s character embodies the super ego and ego of Tyler Durden. The ego is responsible a person’s defensive mechanisms, self-control and reasoning and, Norton’s character exemplifies all of these characteristics. In the movie, Brad Pitt and Ed Norton’s characters co-exist and often Norton questions and reprimands Pitt’s destructive behavior. There are many situations where Tyler Durden’s dual personalities (the id and ego) conflict with each other. For example, in one scene, Ed Norton is driving his car with Brad Pitt and they dispute speeding and allowing their car to crash. Norton’s character reasons that he could ruin his car and possibly die while Pitt’s character simply seeks the thrill and pleasure of pain resulting from the car crash. According to Freud, the super-ego strives for perfection and is involved with society’s expectations of values and morals. Tyler Durden demonstrates his super-ego when shopping for Ikea furniture. In the film, Durden yearns for an ideal living space because he wants people to be impressed by his creative style and therefore meticulously searches throughout Ikea catalogs for the perfect furniture. This instance demonstrates Durden’s super ego because he wants to both impress society and strive for perfection.
What do you all think about all this?