In the film Fight Club, What I understood so far is that The Narrator thinks Marla's life in danger because Tyler wants to kill her.

In the scene where The Narrator realizes he's also Tyler and they have a discussion, Tyler says "Now you see our dilemma, she know too much.". And I get that Tyler didn't want The Narrator to realize they were the same person (and so not to talk about Tyler to Marla) because The Narrator didn't have the balls to do on his own what Tyler did.

But how is Marla compromising any plans at that point of the movie ?

The Narrator already understood he's Tyler so what is there that Marla could ruin ?

1 Answer 1


Even though Tyler is part of the Narrator, that part (which we call Tyler) has an agenda, which we see represented as Tyler's proactive "teaching" of the Narrator. You've touched on this in your question:

Tyler didn't want The Narrator to realize they were the same person because The Narrator didn't have the balls to do on his own what Tyler did.

If Tyler didn't want the Narrator to be aware of the split personalities, why on Earth would he trust Marla with that same knowledge, which gives her the power to ruin Tyler's agenda?

Note: your question seems to imply that the Narrator's realization (about Tyler) is the biggest problem for Tyler. It is not. It is a problem, but there is a threat of something much more dangerous to Tyler: a psychiatric hospital and anti-psychotic meds. The Narrator's knowledge about Tyler is only an obstacle (to Tyler's teachings), but the hospital and meds will drive Tyler out completely.

Marla being aware of Tyler being the Narrator (or vice versa, I guess) means that she's in a unique position. The guys in the club generally think of the Narrator as a guy with some serious balls (= Tyler), but they don't realize that it's a matter of split personalities.

As such, Marla is the only one who can really pull the emergency brake, call in a psychiatrist, and put an end to Tyler's agenda. This is why she's a threat to Tyler.

And there's a great duality here, because before the Narrator realizes he is Tyler, he interprets Tyler's words differently.

  • Pre-realization, he can interpret Tyler's words as Marla being dangerous because she knows too much about the fight club and its dealings.
  • Post-realization, we now know that Tyler thinks of Marla as a threat, because she can put a stop to the psychological manifestation that is Tyler (or at least his agenda).

Just a realization. Tyler seeing Marla as a threat indirectly confirms that Tyler knows he's inside the Narrator's head, even though the Narrator himself is not initially aware of it.

  • Hey thanks a lot for your answer ! That theory makes sense so i believe that's that since there's no other theory explaining it But it's not really explained clearly or even implied in the movie, before Marla gets in the bus she says "Why am I a threat ?" and Tyler says "I'll explain to you later" but we never have a clear explanation :/ (1/2)
    – Garbage
    Nov 20, 2017 at 20:40
  • Also regarding Tyler's agenda, that makes a lot of sense cause see how The Narrator kept searching for Tyler but Tyler never showed up until soon before the explosion ? I think it was Tyler's plan to get re-united since the Narrator only needed Tyler to do the things he didn't have the balls to do and that the main goal was achieved (also the narrator grew to be more and more the way he actually wanted to be, which is Tyler). So maybe Tyler did expect to be killed. Or maybe he just wanted to simply live with the Narrator again without hiding, and so he actually planned to kill Marla. (2/2)
    – Garbage
    Nov 20, 2017 at 20:41
  • Actually one more thing, anybody who could've called the Narrator Tyler would've been a problem to them then, so why especially Marla ? The Narrator also didn't seem to notice when people would call him by his name if Tyler didn't want to, it only happened when Tyler prepared to appear, so why is Marla a problem still ?
    – Garbage
    Nov 20, 2017 at 20:53
  • @Garbage: The fact that we never hear the Narrator's name, highly suggests that he usually doesn't get addressed. Which fits with his initial pre-Tyler life; he sort of blends into the background and feels futile because of it. It's likely that his outgoing nature (interacting with people) has predominantly been driven by Tyler during the movie. And keep in mind that when Tyler is controlling the Narrator, that there's obviously no issue with him being called Tyler. It's also possible that when the N got called Tyler (even when he wasn't Tyler at the time), that Tyler would "activate".
    – Flater
    Nov 21, 2017 at 8:09

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