I am seeking assistance in deciding upon a good thesis statement for a 1,300-word essay I need to write on the novel Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk for a...

I am seeking assistance in deciding upon a good thesis statement for a 1,300-word essay I need to write on the novel Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk for a literature class. I need to use one of the following criticisms in my essay:

  • Marxism
  • Gender Theory/Masculinity
  • Phenomenology
  • Psychoanalytic Theory (confined to Freud, Jung, or Lacan)
  • Poststructuralism/Postmodernism

I've read the book and I know that:

  • Project Mayhem's actions would fit with the Marxism criticism;
  • The fact that the narrator and Tyler are the same person would work with the Psychoanalytic criticism (id, ego, superego);
  • The narrator's dissatisfaction with his own masculinity and his desire to redefine it through Fight Club might work with the Gender Theory/Masculinity criticism.
  • My problem is that I need assistance figuring out which would work best for a thesis statement and how to build upon it with supporting evidence from the book.

    Expert Answers

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    While any of your possible thesis topics could make for a great essay, gender theory and the idea of masculinity as a construct would likely prove easiest to argue with Palahniuk's narrative. Psychoanalytic theory and Marxist ideology could be lenses through which we view Fight Club, but the question of what it means to be a man at the end of the twentieth century is what the novel is truly about.

    Palahniuk has been quoted as saying:

    bookstores were full of books like The Joy Luck Club and The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and How to Make an American Quilt. These were all novels that presented a social model for women to be together. But there was no novel that presented a new social model for men to share their lives.

    Essentially, Chuck Palahniuk raises the question of modern man's search for his place in the world. He writes in the book, "We are God's middle children" (141). The argument is being made that there is nothing unique or noteworthy about modern man or the modern notion of...

    (The entire section contains 3 answers and 682 words.)

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