There’s an interesting and entertaining article at Metaphilm.com in which Galvin P. Chow explains that Ed Norton’s Fight Club character “is really Calvin from the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes.”
Picture this: a hyper, self-absorbed child initially concocts an imaginary friend as the ideal playmate, to whom more realistic qualities soon become attributed. This phantasm becomes a completely separate personality, with his own likes, dislikes, and temperamentâ€”and the imaginer and the imagined clash and argue constantly, though remaining fast friends. This pattern continues to the point where the child begins to perceive what was originally mere fantasy to be reality.
Just as Calvin has an imaginary jungle-animal friend named Hobbes, whom everyone else believes to be nothing but a stuffed toy, “Jack” in Fight Club has an imaginary cool-guy friend named Tyler, whom no one but Jack can see.
In both cases, the entity that began as the ideal companion soon took on a more realistic, three-dimensional quality. In other words, they became real. This is evident in that both Hobbes and Tyler also began to function as scapegoats for their creators. For instance, consider that Calvin often blames broken lamps and other assorted household mischief on Hobbes, and that Jack is inclined to believe that Fight Club and other various anti-society mischief is brought about by Tyler, not himself. Calvin claims Hobbes pounces on him every day after school; Jack believes Tyler beats him up next to 40 kilotons of nitroglycerin in a parking garageâ€”the list goes on and on. The relationships between the two sets of friends are the exact same. Is this mere coincidence?
The whole thing is a hoot, and oddly fascinating, but I think this excerpt from the “Marla Singerâ€”Avatar of Susie Derkins?” section is my favorite:
Somewhere between the end of high school and beginning of college, uptight, grade-obsessed Susie Derkins lost her way. The pressure to get good grades, the pressure to succeed, simply became too much for her, and she snapped.
Free from the protective bonds of her parentsâ€™ guidance and the bland safety of her suburban home, Susie loses her moral bearings entirely and sinks into a dark, seamy, grim world of sex, drugs, and eccentric Albert-Einstein-like hair.
Check it out if you got a few minutes…