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In the movie Fight Club (1999), the narrator (often referred to as "Jack") struggles to keep up with and understand his alter-ego's actions and motives.

In one scene, he loses his head and pounds the daylights out of a blond-headed man who had recently received Tyler's praise. Tyler reacts somewhere between disgust and surprise at this behavior, asking him "Where'd you go psycho boy?"

Shortly after this, Jack stops being aware of his alter-ego at all, perceived by him as Tyler leaving. What is the significance of this scene? Is Jack jealous over the praise the other man received? Is there another explanation? Does Jack secretly want to be Tyler?

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2 Answers 2

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It appears to me that the narrator is becoming jealous of Tyler's relationship with others in Project Mayhem, and that this results in his explosive burst of anger in the fight. He also expresses some desire to break something beautiful - he perceives both Tyler and the blond to be more attractive than himself. However, I am not entirely sure I can link the fight with the events following where Tyler appears to go on lots of trips.

I think it is easier to link this with the fact that he perceives that his own importance is being increasingly diminished. He founded Fight Club with Tyler, but Project Mayhem is much more Tyler's idea and the group looks more to Tyler. So his jealousy towards the blond haired guy is secondary in my mind to his desire to me more involved in the leadership of Project Mayhem.

Tyler is increasingly becoming everything that the narrator is not - charismatic, attractive, uninhibited, powerful .... and the narrator is becoming increasingly bitter and jealous about this. It is almost like as Tyler becomes more the opposite of the narrator the less the two are able to perceive each other, and one inhabits the other half of the day from each other.

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You're right, after having reviewed it again, I don't link Tyler's departure with the fight so strongly. In my memory they seemed much more connected. Good answer. I think the most interesting part is how Jack constantly seems disgusted by Tyler's actions, and yet secretly yearns to be more like him. –  Unsigned Dec 6 '11 at 0:35
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Interestingly, the fight where Jack beats up Angel Face leads to the creation of Project Mayhem in the book (it appears Fight Club isn't enough of an outlet anymore, so things are taken up a notch). In the film, it's because of Project Mayhem (and the sense of rejection he feels not being told about it) that leads to that fight. –  Django Reinhardt Nov 20 '12 at 16:37

Jack is jealous. I just went back and watched it, and the scene preceding that is the bathroom scene. After they all run out, Tyler pats Angel Face on the back and smiles at him, and the narrator says "I am Jack's burning sense of rejection" or something along those lines. So he beats Angel Face up out of jealousy.

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