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Old 08-13-2003, 12:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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The Return of Hobbes (Fight Club Theory)

In the film Fight Club, the real name of the protagonist (Ed Nortonís character) is never revealed. Many believe the reason behind this anonymity is to give "Jack" more of an everyman quality. Do not be deceived. "Jack" is really Calvin from the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes. Itís true. Norton portrays the grown-up version of Calvin, while Brad Pitt plays his imaginary pal, Hobbes, reincarnated as Tyler Durden.

Part I: The Hobbes-Tyler Connection
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 temperamentóand 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 garageóthe list goes on and on. The relationships between the two sets of friends are the exact same. Is this mere coincidence?


Filling in the time-gap between Calvin and Jack, we can imagine the story as something like this: Once Calvin reaches the hostile environment known as the seventh grade, the constant teasing from the other students and the frustrated concern of his parents finally becomes too much, and a reluctant, disillusioned Calvin is finally forced to grow up, or at least begin to. This decision is sealed by one of the hardest things young Calvin will ever have to do in his life: un-imagine Hobbes, an act which to Calvin is essentially no different from murder. After being Calvinís best friend for over a decade, Hobbes is packed away in a box, or tossed carelessly into a garbage bag, perhaps even stuffed under the same bed that once contained so many monsters. This is all, of course, very painful for Calvin, so much so that he represses it all in shame. Little does Calvin suspect that while he is busy growing up, deciding what "dinette set defines him as a person," Hobbes is also maturing in the recesses of his mind, waiting to be unleashed at an appropriate time.

Itís worth noting that during these twenty or so years, Hobbes never bears a grudge against Calvin nor wishes any ill upon him. Hobbes, remembering the depth of their past friendship, does not hate Calvin but rather hates the society that made Calvin put him away. Hobbes, residing in Calvinís mind, sees and experiences all that Calvin doesóand truly despises all of it. He witnesses a bright, superbly imaginative kid (with a genius-level vocabulary) reduced to nothing more than another nameless cog. Fighting off the tears wept for his conventionalized pal, Hobbes resolves to set Calvin free, paying special attention when Calvin idly looks up homemade-napalm recipes on the Internet.

Flash forward to the timeframe depicted in Fight Club. Calvin/Jack has reached an all-time low. He has done everything society has told him to do but is completely void of happiness. Hobbes, newly adjusted as "Tyler Durden" (after all, grown-up Calvin would no longer accept a jungle animal walking, talking, and eating canned tuna), re-enters Calvin/Jackís life, determined to show Calvin everything heís done wrong, whether he likes it or not.


Tyler to Jack: "I look like you wanna look, I fuck like you wanna fuck, Iím smart, capable, and most importantly, Iím free in all the ways you wish you could be."

Calvin has always idolized Hobbes. In Weirdos From Another Planet, he dresses up like a tiger and attempts to live in the woods. Like Hobbes, Tyler is cool, collected, and incredibly cerebral. Given this evidence, one can conclude that Tyler is Hobbes, reincarnated after being trapped inside Calvin/Jackís brain for so many years. Just as Calvin is Jack, Hobbes is Tyler.

------------

The selection above is part of a Discussion in which it dismantle all of the Charectors of Calvin and Hobbes and places them in a the Fight Club world. Includes selection involving the undoing of Moe and Susie Derkins and an early carnation of Fight Club (G.R.O.S.S) and more.

To read the full article:
http://www.metaphilm.com/philms/fightclub.html

Discuss
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Old 08-13-2003, 12:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Thing is, you can take any idea or theme from any novel ever written and you can deduce any type of complex theorem around it. Personally I feel people look far too much into literary works, sure we authors do like to use symbolysm and hidden messages but people still read too much into our words.

However I find this post to be rather interesting.

Last edited by Mr.Deflok; 08-13-2003 at 02:52 AM..
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Old 08-13-2003, 01:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I have very little knowledge or appreciation of Calvin and Hobbes, so unfortunately that theory makes absolutely no sense to me, except the whole "Yeah, some guy made up an imaginary friend just like in the cartoon strip" deal.

Looks well thought out though.
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Old 08-13-2003, 04:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: The Return of Hobbes (Fight Club Theory)

Quote:
Originally posted by Spinach_Indeed

Is this mere coincidence?
yes.
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Old 08-13-2003, 05:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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After the end of Fight Club, when Calvin realizes heís effectively killed Hobbes twice now, do you really think heíll still be "okay"?


I think "Jack" is going to be OK. He is going to go to jail where many of the inmates will know of "Tyler Durden" and will worship/fear him. He will rise up as kick ass leader on the cell block - sodomizing whomever he wishes...

Tragically he will be shot in a prison riot of his making.
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Old 08-13-2003, 08:54 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mr.Deflok
Thing is, you can take any idea or theme from any novel ever written and you can deduce any type of complex theorem around it. Personally I feel people look far too much into literary works, sure we authors do like to use symbolysm and hidden messages but people still read too much into our words.

However I find this post to be rather interesting.
I quite agree. There are some people that swear that Lord of the Rings is a view of our future, years ahead. Some people are convinced that Ben Hur is a Film about Homosexual acceptance.

I can't tell whether the writer of this article is taking himself seriously or not. But either way, it's an interesting read.
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Old 08-13-2003, 09:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I agree with Spinach -- an interesting read. Now I just need to figure out if its such an interesting read because of my love of the comic strip, a fascination with the movie or a combination of the both of them.
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Old 08-13-2003, 09:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Charlatan
After the end of Fight Club, when Calvin realizes heís effectively killed Hobbes twice now, do you really think heíll still be "okay"?


I think "Jack" is going to be OK. He is going to go to jail where many of the inmates will know of "Tyler Durden" and will worship/fear him. He will rise up as kick ass leader on the cell block - sodomizing whomever he wishes...

Tragically he will be shot in a prison riot of his making.
haha...
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Old 08-13-2003, 11:04 AM   #9 (permalink)
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never thought of it, great read
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Old 08-13-2003, 01:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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It is a great theory, but it sucks as to the way it says that it <b>IS</b> what it is. Fantastic read, but I think that it was worded wrong...
and submitted to the wrong forum. Should be in Philosophy
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Old 08-14-2003, 09:14 PM   #11 (permalink)
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A well-considered argument, but it doesn't hold water, I'm afraid. After all, Hobbes is real.
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Old 08-14-2003, 09:17 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I must say, i find this comparison very interesting, being the obsessed fan of fight club that i am.
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Old 08-14-2003, 10:07 PM   #13 (permalink)
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i found it very interesting as well... but i'm more a fan of fight club than calvin and hobbes... so not all of this made sense to me...

hmm..
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Old 08-15-2003, 07:33 AM   #14 (permalink)
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this is great!
messed up . . . but great
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