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In Fight Club (1999), Tyler motivates fight club:

Tyler: Goddamn it, an entire generation pumping gas. Waiting tables. Slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes. Working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need.

What does "Slaves with white collars" mean? This didn't helped me.

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"White collar" refers to people working in office jobs (contrasted with "blue collar": people who work in manual jobs. (Typical office wear includes a white shirt, but manual workers tend to wear blue or coloured overalls or shirts which don't show dirt so easily).

Tyler is speaking hyperbolically: He is saying that office workers are slaves, that they have no freedom. Tyler seems to be mixing the standard blue/white shirt collar metaphor a metaphor for a slave's iron collar.

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  • It might go deeper. Tyler seems to be mixing the standard blue/white shirt collar metaphor with the metaphor of a slave's collar. "Working jobs we hate so we can buy shirts [with collars that] we don't need" could imply the entire generation enslaving itself under the influence of advertising. Sometimes, a mixed metaphor isn't a bad thing. Jul 30, 2020 at 13:22

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