Emasculation: The Loss of Manhood
“The gyms you go to are crowded with guys trying to look like men, as if being a man means looking the way a sculptor or an art director says.”— (Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club, p.50)
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, defines Emasculation as the removal of the penis and the testicles, the external male organs. “Emasculation.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Project, 25 Jul. 2013. Web. 2 Nov. 2013. Castration refers to the removal of the testicles alone. This deprives a man of virility or procreative power. It also means to make a man less masculine or to deprive a man of his male strength or role. It could also mean to make something weaker or less effective. “Emasculate.” Merriam-Webster, An Encyclopedia Britannica Company.
In Chuck Palahniuk’s debut novel, Fight Club, emasculation is a central theme as it is portrayed by the Narrator, Tyler Durden (the narrator’s dissociative personality disorder), Big Bob (Robert Paulson), The Police Commissioner and members of Remaining Men Together support group.
Fight Club reflects the notion that men in today’s society have been reduced to a generation of men that do nothing themselves, but have become desensitized with watching others do things instead. Masculinity becomes a trademark or a label, a means to sell products to men. “Being a man” becomes owning the right luxuries or looking the way an art director or sculptor says rather than knowing who you are and what you represent.
Emasculated by the consumer culture, the narrator, finds solace (though under false pretense) in a support group for men with testicular cancer who have had their testicles removed. There he meets Big Bob (Robert Paulson), a former body builder, who has developed feminine features resulting from a hormonal imbalance. Trying to comfort the sobbing narrator, Bob rasps in a high pitched voice, “We’re still men,” with the narrator affirming “Yes, we’re men. Men is what we are.” Big Bob, and the Narrator. Fight Club. Dir....