Our great depression is our lives (An explanation)

In this article, we will provide you with a list of quotes and dialogues from the movie Fight club along with their explanations. 

Our great depression is our lives: Fight club

“We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very ticked off.”

― Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

The plot of Fight club

After his ideal apartment is ruined, a lonely man (Edward Norton) suffering from insomnia encounters a mysterious soap salesman called Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) and soon finds himself living in his squalid home. With strict guidelines, the two bored men form an underground club and battle other men who are fed up with their mundane lives. As Marla (Helena Bonham Carter), a fellow support group crasher, draws Tyler’s attention, their perfect relationship frays.

Quotes in Fight club with explanations

Quote 1

“Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who’ve ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy stuff we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war… our Great Depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very ticked off.”

After scolding them for violating the rules of the fighting club, Tyler confronts the men in the basement of Lou’s Tavern. New members joined the group, suggesting that the current members spoke about battling clubs and violating their first two rules. He encapsulates the feelings of a generation in this brief monologue that believes it was raised on the premise that it will inherently achieve prosperity and greatness. They became angry and unmotivated, having discovered that this greatness was not their destiny. Tyler blames the news media directly for creating this illusion. His generation was raised as somehow substandard or not flashy enough to regard normal daily life. He sees promise in these men, despite this. He sees that a culture that loves and chases material possessions is wasted on what they can offer.

Quote 2

“In the world I see – you are stalking elk through the damp canyon forests around the ruins of Rockefeller Center. You’ll wear leather clothes that will last you the rest of your life. You’ll climb the wrist-thick kudzu vines that wrap the Sears Tower. And when you look down, you’ll see tiny figures pounding corn, laying strips of venison on the empty carpool lane of some abandoned superhighway.”

Tyler sets out his plans for Jack/the Narrator, his vision for a modern future that will come into being after its goals are accomplished by Project Mayhem. The comforts of modern life as well as its trappings, such as employment and ads, are offered by this pre-agrarian hunter-gatherer model. The negative aspects of his vision, such as how sickness or starvation will affect the members of this society, do not appear to be taken into account by Tyler. Tyler also does not explain how this can be done or how such a huge upheaval in society might happen without opposition or danger to human life. What does seem to be assured is that Tyler will be the pioneer of this new world.

Quote 3

“Our fathers were our models for God. If our fathers bailed, what does that tell you about God? Listen to me! You have to consider the possibility that God does not like you. He never wanted you. In all probability, he hates you. This is not the worst thing that can happen.”

When Jack’s hand burns from the lye that Tyler poured on it, Tyler approaches Jack. Tyler returns to the theme of Fathers of Men. Here, he takes an intellectual leap to apply his negative feelings to the inclusion of God by his father. As a malevolent maker, Tyler sees God, a being who might even hate his children. He feels that God is not important and that time spent by human beings seeking to obtain the attention or approval of God is wasted time. God does not care in Tyler’s opinion. They will never be independent of any kind of parental figure if society concerns themselves with what God will think of their actions, and thus they will never be free.

Quote 4

“This is your life, and it’s ending one second at a time.”

In a voiceover over a montage sequence in which we see him traveling for his work, Jack/the Narrator notes this. He’s waiting to board a flight at the airport, unaware of what time zone he’s in, struggling with the minutiae of everyday daily life. The existential essence of his life is described by Jack/the Narrator in this one simple paragraph. He, devoid of any sense, can feel his life going by. The specter of death and its inevitability is confronted explicitly by Jack/the Narrator. He sees it as a call to arms, rather than viewing this as solely negative. He wants to be an active participant in it and live it, instead of passively letting his life float by. He is curious about what it will be.

Quote 5

We’re consumers. We are by-products of a lifestyle obsession. Murder, crime, poverty, these things don’t concern me. What concerns me are celebrity magazines, television with 500 channels, some guy’s name on my underwear. Rogaine, Sildenafil, Olestra.”

As Jack/the Narrator listens, drawn in by Tyler’s charm, Tyler highlights some of the misplaced ideals he sees in modern society. Tyler condemns mainstream media and advertisement, as he will in the film, as leading to this disconnection from daily reality. People don’t see real issues or just aren’t as concerned about them. They would rather chat about celebrity gossip than about something negative in their life, such as racism or crime. The experience of our daily life, in Tyler’s view, is dictated more and more by these obsessions than by our own hands.

Quote 6

“I can’t get married – I’m a thirty-year-old boy.”

To Tyler, Jack/the Narrator describes how unprepared he feels to take on adult life. He and Tyler bond with the fact that their fathers were mostly absent figures who did not commit to their education. As a consequence, both characters believe like they are unprepared for their male roles. They are uncertain of what it would mean to be a man and frightened by the prospect of having to settle down at some point and raise their children.

Quote 7

“It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.”

After burning his hand with lye, Tyler utters these words to Jack/ the Narrator. This is part of the “hitting rock bottom.” ideology of Tyler. He means it as taking away everything unnecessary and pointless to achieve the real self as Tyler uses the word. The bottom of a rock equals independence. It takes overcoming one’s self-imposed limits and fears to get there. As a way of placing Jack/the Narrator on the road to his true self, Tyler introduces Jack/the Narrator to the greatest pain he’s ever experienced. Although simultaneously acknowledging it, Jack/the Narrator must look beyond this suffering.

Quote 8

“When the fight was over, nothing was solved, but nothing mattered. We all felt saved.”

On the metaphysical dimensions of the fight club, Jack/The Narrator reflects. After combat, the men experienced a rekindled sense of self and masculinity. In their normal daily lives, they feel all the things that they should not miss. Jack/the Narrator knows that war was not about specifically solving something. It is only a tool for achieving a greater sense of self and helps men to find a sense of purpose through it.

Quote 9 

“Tomorrow will be the most beautiful day of Raymond K. Hessel’s life. His breakfast will taste better than any meal you and I have ever tasted.”

As Raymond Hessel runs away in fear, Tyler says these words to Jack/the Narrator. Tyler pointedly asks Jack/the Narrator what he wanted to accomplish by frightening this poor man. Tyler reveals that he intended to instill a sense of meaning and ownership over his own life into this stranger. Tyler gives Raymond a new outlook on his life by trying to murder Raymond. It might end there, behind a convenience store, or it might inspire him to make something out of it. Tyler envisions that Raymond will awake in the morning with renewed vigor and a new outlook on the world. However, he does not consider the possibility that Raymond may be scared beyond reason or that he might take action out of fear rather than self-interest.

Additional quotes in Fight club

  • “I don’t want to die without any scars.”
  • “You are not your job, you’re not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You are not your khakis. You are all-singing, all-dancing of the world.”
  • “You know how they say you only hurt the ones you love? Well, it works both ways.”
  • “You are not special. You’re not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else. We’re all part of the same compost heap. We’re all-singing, all-dancing of the world.”
  • “The things you used to own, now they own you.”
  • “Today is the sort of day where the sun only comes up to humiliate you.”
  • “At the time, my life just seemed too complete, and maybe we have to break everything to make something better out of ourselves.”
  • “Only after disaster can we be resurrected. It’s only after you’ve lost everything that you’re free to do anything. Nothing is static, everything is evolving, everything is falling apart.”
  • “If you don’t know what you want,” the doorman said, “you end up with a lot you don’t.”
  • “I let go. Lost in oblivion. Dark and silent and complete. I found freedom. Losing all hope was freedom.”

You can listen to the ‘Our great depression in our lives’ speech on youtube

In this article, we provided you with a list of quotes and dialogues from the movie Fight club along with their explanations.