Date of Award


Degree Type




First Advisor

Jeffers, Jennifer

Subject Headings

Palahniuk, Chuck -- Criticism and interpretation, Palahniuk, Chuck. Fight Club, Romanticism, Chuck Palahniuk Fight Club romance romantic structure


Chuck Palahniuk's novel Fight Club has been the subject of much critical contention over the years. Typical analyses of the novel revolve around its existential or nihilist comedy, homoerotic elements, or commentary on consumer culture. However, no critics to date have studied Fight Club's romantic elements, despite indications by the author that the novel is, in fact, intended to be a romance. This study reimagines and interprets Fight Club, the novel, as a work with romantic elements essential to the structure of the narrative itself. Additionally, it studies the complex interplay of Palahniuk's romantic elements with questions of gender identity and masculinity. It is concluded that, in Fight Club, romance drives the narrator's quest for identity