Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Fight Club ch. 20

Just a short post this time. I thought Palahniuk made some interesting choices in chapter twenty. 

In Chapter twenty, the narrator goes out on a homework assignment for Project Mayhem--Tyler has asked his groupies to bring him twelve driver's licenses to prove that they had made twelve human sacrifices. The narrator targets a Korner Mart (convenience store) employee named Raymond Hessel. He points the gun at Raymond's face and starts rummaging through his pockets. 

I like this scene for two reasons: first, the narrator lets Raymond go. He doesn't kill Raymond like I assume Tyler has instructed him to. The narrator looks through Raymond's wallet and discovers little details about him from the contents--a library card and a college student ID. He asks Raymond why he isn't going to school anymore? What he was studying? What he wanted to be when he grew up? They he lets Raymond go. The narrator tells Raymond that he will be watching him and if Raymond doesn't get back into school and begin working towards being a veterinarian (like he dreamed), then he will come and kill him. I love this. I love that the narrator decides that this young man needs this in his life. All he needs is a little push to get back into the right path. Which is very interesting because the narrator has rejected that same path. He walked what he is asking Raymond to walk and it didn't bring him any fulfillment. At the end, the narrator decided that it was all a lie and he really had nothing in his life; nothing made him happy. And yet, he pushes Raymond to seek after this dream. I love the last couple of lines...
"Now, I'm going to walk away so don't turn around."This is what Tyler wants me to do."These are Tyler's words coming out of my mouth."I am Tyler's mouth."I am Tyler's hands."Everybody in Project Mayhem is part of Tyler Durden, and vice versa."Raymond K. K. Hessel, your dinner is going to taste better than any meal you've ever eaten, and tomorrow will be the most beautiful day of your entire life."
I'm sure that meal was the best he's every tasted.
They add Tyler Durden to this scene in the movie, which is an interesting choice.
The second thing that I really like about this chapter is the use of the second person. I usually don't like it when authors use "you" in their writing because it is so difficult to get right. Palahniuk gets it right in this chapter. You can feel the tension because this is happening to you
"You gave me your wallet like I asked.
"Your name was Raymond K. Hessel on your driver's license. You live at 1320 SE Benning, apartment A.
"Raymond K. K. K. K. K. K. Hessel, I was talking to you."
The use of you draws the reader in and after a while you really get into the scene. At the end when you are let go, you can breath again.  Because you realize that you've been holding your breath the entire time.

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