American Psycho Critical Essay

is about the dangers of consumerism, the depiction of mental illness, and the evils of privileged individuals.The narrator and protagonist, Patrick Bateman, is an investment banker in New York City during the 1980s.In this final scene on page 398 Bateman and his friends are discussing their presumably new obsession, the Shepard account, while at their favorite establishment.

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So, I wrote a book that is all surface action: no narrative, no characters to latch onto, flat, endlessly repetitive.

I used comedy to get at the absolute banality of the violence of a perverse decade. But that is how, as a writer, I took in those years.

This makes the question of whether the violence did or did not happen all the more difficult for the reader to decide.

The theme of complex identity is featured in other uses of alternate grammar in the last chapter of the novel.

None of the chapters in the novel are numbered and there are no page breaks between them.

American Psycho Critical Essay

This is a deliberate choice by Ellis to maintain the novel’s stream of consciousness narrative.This use of narrative shift not only shows the complexity of Bateman’s identity, but also the idea of Bateman as the ultimate unreliable narrator.The reader now knows that he cannot trust any of Bateman’s accounts.Later in the novel Ellis changes the narrative from first to third in a chapter long sentence.…Racing blindly down Greenwich I lose control entirely, the cab swerves into a Korean deli, next to a karaoke restaurant called Lotus Blossom I’ve been to with the Japanese clients, the cab rolling over fruit stands, smashing through a wall of glass, the body of a cashier thudding across the hood, Patrick tries to put the cab in reverse but nothing happens, he staggers out of the cab, leaning against it…At a glance, this could be seen as a typographical mistake, but because of Ellis’ extensive use of alternate grammar it is surely not one.The literal split in Bateman’s name parallels the dual nature of his personality and the two clear interpretations of the novel: Patrick Bateman as a mentally disturbed man, or Patrick Bateman as a privileged serial killer.(Ellis 349)Though this sentence encompasses the entire chapter, it is broken up by ellipses.It can be assumed that Ellis chose to do this to make the process of reading this chapter easier and to display an absence of mind for the narrator.In fiction italics are traditionally used to show a speaker placing emphasis on certain words in their dialogue.However, Bateman puts emphasis on the first half of his first name.


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