Notes from Underground

The Underground Fight against the System

The central characters in the film Fight Club and Dostoevsky's novel Notes from Underground attempt to manage a serious psychological estrangement from society, each with a strategy that ultimately directs outward aggression inward. Fight Club's nameless narrator suffers a kind of masochistic schizophrenia rooted in his total disdain for society, as it effectively deems him a "nobody"; Dostoevsky's leading man - also nameless, also mentally afflicted - attacks society within the realm of his own person, taking pleasure in self-inflicted pain. The endless series of parallels between these two works eerily reinforces a shared theme, with each character a "nobody" crouched within an imposing universe of overly-extensive artificiality; the Underground Man must be a copy of the creator of Fight Club, who indeed resents most that he is "a copy of a copy of a copy."

Interestingly, Fight Club's narrator oddly resembles Dostoevsky's typical low-ranking civil servant; his disturbingly dry occupation - until he quits - mirrors the triviality to his obsessive accumulation of material things, none of which make evident anything substantial about his character. Not only does this...

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