Conforming the Body (continued)

After the discussions in today’s lecture about Cartesian dualism I couldn’t help remembering a scene from the movie Fight Club. (Sorry, I couldn’t find the scene on YouTube). 
But for those who haven’t seen the movie: the narrator suffers from insomnia and feels like his life is going nowhere, he’s recommended by his doctor to visit a testicular cancer support group “if he wanted to see real suffering.” He soon becomes dependent on the group, the members assume he’s terminal and give him the time and support he craved. That is until he meets Marla (who attends the group for the same reason). When trying to decide who should go to which support group the male narrator says:

Narrator: Testicular cancer should be no contest, I think.

To which Marla replies:

Marla Singer: Well, technically, I have more of a right to be there than you. You still have your balls, I never had any.

This once again suggests that women are defected males due to the lack of a penis. It also reflects Freud’s castration complex, where the young boy believed ‘his mother had had the penis and through some misdemeanour has lost it.’ Therefore women are ‘symbols of castration’. (Roberta McGrath in ‘The Photography Reader’, p. 332).

The conversation continues:

: What do you want?
Marla Singer: I’ll take the parasites.
Narrator: You can’t have both the parasites, but while you take the blood parasites…
Marla Singer: I want brain parasites.
Narrator: I’ll take the blood parasites. But I’m gonna take the organic brain dementia, okay?
Marla Singer: I want that.
Narrator: You can’t have the whole brain, that’s…
Marla Singer: So far you have four, I only have two!
Narrator: Okay. Take both the parasites. They’re yours. Now we both have three…

The last five lines are particularly interesting, the fact that the man argues even commands that Marla can’t ‘have the whole brain’ suggests he wants to keep her subservient. Marla protests untill they both agree to be equal in their hypothetical demise…

I also thought this scene about the ‘perfect’ male body was slightly ironic coming from Brad Pitt:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: