Movie quote from: Fight Club (1999) - Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt)
In Fight Club, the Narrator (Edward Norton) is a lost soul, uninspired by the veneer-thin values of his consumer-centric life. Into this detached existence comes Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), the polar opposite of Norton's apathetic character. Durden takes him into a full-contact, chaotic world that re-aquaints him with a sense of unbounded freedom. But is he really free? What does 'being free' mean and do we really want it? This film pulls no punches as it explores the implications of absolute freedom.
Freedom is the right to choose without restraint. People don't respect their own freedom. When we don't have it, we'll give our lives to obtain it. When it is abundant, we give it away, choosing to pursue higher valued things like love, security, and stuff. People in love willingly give away their individual liberty in return for a shared existence. Others choose safety and security over freedom, preferring to avoid the discomforts of novel experience. A person with lots of stuff isn't free either, they have to hang around with their stuff to make their purchases worthy. The ultimate irony of freedom is we are free to use it whenever we please.
Fight Club explores the implications of absolute freedom. The Narrator represents the low end of the freedom scale - a man who lost his freedom in his addiction to buying stuff. Consumerism steals his spirit, convincing him that love and life are better purchased than earned. His compulsion to buy all the items in an IKEA catalog typifies a person unable to exist beyond the confines of his stuff.
On the other end of the scale is Tyler Durden, a man unbounded by the conventions of culture. He questions anything that confines a person's freedom to choose. As a result, Tyler does anything he feels like doing - thrilling things, inspiring things, unreasonable things, illegal things, destructive things. This is the chaos that comes with complete freedom.
Fight Club illustrates the truth that all things are best in moderation. Of course we want freedom for all souls but a community cannot endure absolute freedom. An individual can go too far. 'Too far' is when one person's freedom takes away from that of another. Tyler Durden is freedom-too-far, the literally carefree individual who does not care for anything other than his own fancies.
Real freedom comes with rights and responsibilities. A truly free society must enable individuals to 'be all they can be' while concurrently ensuring one person's pursuit of freedom does not take away from another's. Fight Club illustrates this same duality within us all. We must unleash our own Durden-esque vitality while respecting the freedom of others to do the same. This is the kind of freedom that I'm willing to fight for.
Check out: The Best 10 Movie Quotes About Freedom