Project Mayhem



All the violence and death caused by Project Mayhem points toward one goal: “A near-life experience”. Project Mayhem evolves out of, and eventually replaces Fight Club, starting out as a “homework assignment” given out to members by Tyler Durden. As Fight Club attains a nationwide presence, Tyler uses it to spread his anti-consumerist ideas, devising increasingly elaborate pranks on corporate America. He eventually gathers the most devoted Fight Club members and forms Project Mayhem: a cult-like organization that trains itself as an army to bring down modern civilization. The aim is simple: to destroy human civilization so that it can start over again from new, better bases.

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When Tyler invented Project Mayhem, Tyler said the goal of Project Mayhem had nothing to do with other people. Tyler didn’t care if other people got hurt or not. The goal was to teach each man in the project that he had the power to control history. We, each of us, can take control of the world. The project members do not see, however, that Project Mayhem is, in fact, a form of self-injury. On the one hand, this mission reduces their individualism that they gained through the fight club. They now all wear the same clothes and shave their heads. They are mere brainless followers that fulfill the orders Tyler dictates. Moreover, the project is the product of an imagined personality and thus does not have a real changing effect on society.

Project Mayhem becomes such a threat to society that the police chief organizes a meeting to stop its ascent. The police chief’s efforts are thwarted when Fight Club members kidnap him, pin him down on the ground in a hotel bathroom, and threaten him with castration.

Eventually, Norton realizes that Tyler Durden does not really exist but is not completely convinced until he sees that Durden is not hit by a bullet from a gun he fires. The truth is now known to Norton, but it is too late. He, and he alone, is the leader and founder of Fight Club. But Project Mayhem has become independent of Fight Club and is completely out of control.

Perfectly orchestrated plans to blow up buildings throughout the city are in place. Norton tries to stop the destruction, but his own men stop him. They hold him down and try to castrate him, informing him that he himself instructed them to do just that, if ever he tried to interfere with the functioning of Fight Club.

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