ISU Rough Notes

Some of my thoughts on my ISU books Fight Club and Rant by Chuck Palahniuk in relation to Jungian psychology. Feel free to let me know what you think about the direction I’m headed.


Key terms:

Shadow- What lies underneath the persona (visceral, natural, true self, true desires)

Persona- Who we project to the world/ who the world (society) expects, accepts, and creates.

Self- Who we are


Fight Club:

Narrator- Is the persona

Tyler Durden- Is the shadow

Shadow is fighting for control with the persona.

The shadow is critical and deviant of society.

The persona conforms.

The persona and the shadow converge and both characters are killed. (Self actualization?)

The shadow breaks through the persona now and again but mainly remains a separate entity.

Others like narrator come forth and we see the society for what they really are.

(Everyday mild mannered men who are lions on the inside in this case)



All we know of Rant is what others report but these stories often contradict one another.

“People always know you when you’re dead”

How can you know someone you never meant? How do you know anyone truly ever?

If the shadow is never realized presented the real you is never known.

The persona is how wish to present yourself but people may perceive you not as you intended.

What is a hero to one is a menace to another. What is legendary to one is meaningless to another.


How does this apply?

-We should be aware that we create the persona. (In order to control our image better) (In order to avoid ignorance and disaster)

-We should recognize that shadow is present. (In order to control our instincts and manage emotion) (In order to avoid it eating us away) (Bring the self in balance/ peace)

-We should accept that the true self of others is only known to them. (Realize that the people around us more complex than we know) (That this is normal) (It is ok to be “twisted” to be weird to accept our quirks and the quirks of others) (We are not so different after all)

-We need to accept/ realize both the shadow and the persona are present. (Converge them) (Peace of mind) (Balanced individual) (The truth and the true self) (Duality) (Self actualization)


Thesis (Rough):

Chuck just wants us to accept that in all people there is the persona and the shadow and that THIS IS OK.



One thought on “ISU Rough Notes

  1. I like when students try to apply a theory/ideas to an interpretation/understanding of a book/books, but your thesis needs to go deeper…what does the application of these ideas tell us about these characters(their motivations, morals, etc.) and, more importantly, about men trying to establish their identities in a modern world?


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