Fight Club

Fight Club Chapter 12 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The Narrator sits at his desk at work. The Narrator realizes that his car company is going to have to institute a recall—a rarity. But last week, the Narrator thinks, his company declined to institute a recall for a very serious mistake: leather interiors that caused horrible birth defects. The company didn’t recall their product because the cost of a recall was greater than the cost of paying off the hundreds of harmed families.
The car company’s actions symbolize the total amorality of corporations: the company intentionally allows some lives to be lost in order to save some money, because making money is the corporation’s only goal. Because the corporation is under no obligation to tell its customers the truth (their product is lethal), it doesn’t.
Themes
Consumerism, Perfection, and Modernity Theme Icon
Death, Pain, and the “Real” Theme Icon
The Narrator’s boss approaches him, holding a copy of the “rules of fight club,” which the Narrator has left in the copy machine. The Narrator stands up and whispers, “I’d be very careful who I talked to about this paper.” The Narrator warns that “whoever wrote that” is probably thinking about shooting up the entire office. The Narrator’s boss becomes extremely uncomfortable, and the Narrator begins reading the rules of fight club, making his boss even more disconcerted.
Since spending time with Tyler, the Narrator has learned to stand up for himself more, albeit mostly by becoming a bully. Instead of allowing his boss to humiliate him, the Narrator not-so-subtly threatens to shoot up the entire office. By this point the members of fight club seem to see non-members as sheep-like people who deserve to be mocked and bullied for their submissiveness.
Themes
Consumerism, Perfection, and Modernity Theme Icon
Masculinity in Modern Society Theme Icon
Death, Pain, and the “Real” Theme Icon
Over the weekend, the Narrator goes to his testicular cancer support group and finds Bob there—but nobody else. Bob, excited to see the Narrator, tells the Narrator that the group has disbanded—everybody has joined a new group, the first rule of which is that “you aren’t support to talk about it.” The founder of this group, Bob says, is a “great man,” “Tyler Durden.”
Bob has joined fight club, too, though he seems not to realize that the Narrator is one of the founders. The fact that the testicular cancer support group has joined fight club reinforces the link between death, violence, and masculinity: near death, Bob and his peers fight to celebrate their manhood and the sheer fact of being alive.
Themes
Consumerism, Perfection, and Modernity Theme Icon
Masculinity in Modern Society Theme Icon
Death, Pain, and the “Real” Theme Icon