Movies and TV
The Downward Spiral of Fight Club

Kevin Mooseles | 2 Oct 2014 09:00
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Track 10: A Warm Place

Immediately after that scene is the argument that leads to Jack letting go of his need to control things and Tyler letting go of the wheel of the car they're in. Jack worked for a car company as a safety recall coordinator (a crash analyst). He had always wondered what it would be like to get in a major wreck. This dark fascination embodies the quest to hit bottom, and the slowed motion effects suggest that Jack experienced a perfect moment of enlightenment in the few seconds of chaos that followed his choice to finally let go.

"A Warm Place" represents the eye of the hurricane. In the film, Jack is depicted as sitting on the passenger side, with Tyler driving before the car crash, but in the aftermath, Jack emerges from the driver's side. This is both foreshadowing, and symbolic of Jack letting go of his need for Tyler. This is one of the last scenes with Tyler before he is revealed as Jack's second personality.

Track 11: Eraser

"Eraser" is all about build-up. The first three and a half minutes are instrumental, and the lyrics are depicted in Fight Club by the disappearance of Tyler and Jack's inability to deal with yet another abandonment. It causes him to hunt Tyler down which eventually leads him to the truth. The build-up is represented by Jack's exposure to the new and improved Project Mayhem, which escalates to the death of Bob.

The lyrics are "Need you, dream you, find you, taste you, use you, scar you, fuck you, break you. Lose me, hate me, smash me, erase me, kill me." At first, Jack sees himself as the victim of another abandonment, but it could be that the lyrical switch from "you" to "me" represents the revelation that they are the same person, and the truth that he is responsible for much more damage than he had allowed himself to see before.

Track 12: Reptile

"Reptile" is represented by the moment of realization that Jack has concerning Marla. The first verse depicts Jack's official view of Marla: "She spreads herself wide open to let the insects in, she leaves a trail of honey to show me where she's been. She has the blood of reptiles just underneath her skin. Seeds from a thousand others drip down from within."

But as Jack comes to terms with the fact that he's been Marla's lover all along, his attempts to explain himself lead to the strangely endearing chorus, "Oh, my beautiful liar, oh, my precious whore. My disease, my infection. I am so impure." The diner scene where Jack tries to explain himself to Marla best represents the message of "Reptile."

The line "I am so impure" represents Jack's dawning understanding that he is crazy. He responds first by approaching Marla and then trying to turn himself over to the police. This act of redemption propels him towards the final fight against Tyler. He realizes that he can't fight Tyler, he can't control Tyler... the only thing he can do is kill Tyler.

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