Batman, Fight Club, and Other Conspiracies
I have a theory.For those of you who haven’t seen either the Dark Knight or Fight Club, this post is heavy with spoilers. You have been warned.
I first read Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk – a masterpiece of transgressive fiction – shortly after watching the film adaptation.Two main divergences from the novel stuck out at me; not least the ending.
In the film, Tyler executes the goal of Project Mayhem and, in the process of freeing himself, shoots himself in the cheek. The credit card companies crumble, and he watches it all happen hand-in-hand with Marla.In the novel, Tyler still shoots himself in the mouth – but he is on the verge of Project Mayhem masterstroke when Marla and the support groups talk him down from the ledge and persuade him to turn himself in to a mental hospital. There, he tells us that the orderlies are planning on breaking him out.
The second main divergence, for me at least, is a matter of Tyler’s mouth.During his first fight, he is punched in the face, and bites through his cheek, leaving a hole there that grows and grows throughout the course of the book until it reaches the corner of his mouth. The same thing happens with the gunshot wound at the end of the novel, leaving him with huge, ragged scars along his cheeks.
I realised, years later, that this sounded very familiar.
A genius sociopath, yearning to break the bonds of societal repression, to be free of such shackles as money and fame? Who searches for peace under the embers of utter chaos? With such distinctive facial scars?
Let’s say for a minute that I’m talking only about the novel version of Fight Club, and the Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan) version of Batman.Where is the one place that Tyler would have never been successful at setting up a fight club? Gotham City.
After being sprung from a mental insitution, having outgrown the purposes of Project Mayhem and Marla Singer, I believe that Tyler Durden saw his scars in a new light, moving to Gotham City to bring to it a new class of criminal.All it took was some face paint, hair dye, new clothes, and a whole lot of audacity.Why? To get right in their hostile little faces, show them that they are no better than he, and above all; bring Batman to such a limit that he might be on Tyler/Joker’s level, even for one night.
After all, this is the man who brought a nation to its knees with Projects Mayhem and Misinformation. While he was achieving that, he was of two minds, conflicted with himself. After uniting with his alter-ego and being at one, imagine how much more he could achieve.
If it weren’t for that pesky bat.
Naysayers or supporters please sound off in the comments, or at the very least rewatch the Dark Knight with Tyler Durden in mind.