Title of Project

Exposing the Repressed

Researcher Information

Gregory Kyriakakis

Project Type


Start Date

7-4-2006 12:00 AM

End Date

7-4-2006 12:00 AM

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Apr 7th, 12:00 AM Apr 7th, 12:00 AM

Exposing the Repressed

This paper presents a psychoanalytic interpretation of Chuck Palahniuk’s novel Fight Club. Psychoanalysts such as Sigmund Freud posited that an “other” resides inside the mind of each individual, revealing itself only in specific instances. The unnamed narrator, tired of his mundane life, allows his id to take control of his body under certain circumstances so that he can satisfy repressed urges. Primarily, he enters into an intimate relationship that his conscious self – influenced by society’s norms - would deem inappropriate. Freud’s Oedipus Complex is addressed as it applies to the narrator’s relationship with Marla Singer, a drain on society. By becoming Tyler Durden, a representation of his father, the narrator seeks a relationship with Marla that he describes as resembling that of his own parents. Through his schizophrenia, the narrator periodically assumes the identity of Tyler, a father figure who leads underground fight clubs which allow its members to reject society’s behavioral expectations and expose their unconscious urges. While becoming the leader for this generation experiencing mundane lives, Tyler combats what he views as potential paternal authority, such as his boss, and deals with his fatherly abandonment by unleashing his repressed, unrestricted, and violent “other.”