This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho Essay

1067 words - 5 pages

American Psycho Essay

‘’You are a fucking ugly bitch, I want to stab you to death and play around with your blood’’ .
Bret Easton Ellis wrote in 1991 the rather controversial and contentious piece of literature, American Psycho, in which the aforementioned, disturbing quote exists. The novel has, as of its astounding amount of filth, gore and incomprehensible evil, been at the core of countless controversies, where the boundaries of literature(and whether or not these exist) have been discussed. However, Bret Easton Ellis has formerly written other novels similar to American Psycho in which satire is utilized to implement bits and pieces of constructive social criticism through very well written and darkly humoured plots and characters . This is, of course, no different for American Psycho, as the novel delivers a disturbing depiction of the 1980’s society(1987) where heavy consumerism, moral decay and superficiality prosper. It is about this exact, so-called yuppie-lifestyle of materialism, narcissism, emotional detachment and extensive illicitness that the novel is written. Altogether, we must interpret it as a transgressive fiction, inasmuch as it comprises many of the characteristics such as nihilism, drug addiction and outright mutilation(yet to be read).

My analysis will primarily cover some of the conspicuous and significant quotes and how these appear to hint of Patrick’s perpetual dissatisfaction and growing misguidance in his search for acknowledgement and pleasure. It is to be hoped, this will facilitate my attempt to understand and familiarize with the mind of Patrick Bateman.

‘’Abandon all hope, ye who enters here’’ - this rather peculiar and frightening phrase is what the reader initially encounters when commencing one’s perusal of the novel. This is, of course, a reference to Dante Alighieri’s epic poem ‘’Divine Comedy’’, in which this exact inscription(though in Latin) is written above the gates of hell. It seems therefore quite fitting considering the fictional world, one is about to enter.

The narrator, Patrick Bateman, lives within a world build upon wealth, etiquettes and social interactions, which, ironically, seem both psychologically and physically repulsive to him. His entire existence is constructed around this pervasive animosity and exasperation and regards thus himself intellectually superior to his surroundings .

Bateman’s life is heavily afflicted by an enslaving and constant fear of imperfection as he, and the world around him, grows increasingly superficial and shallow. A fear that necessitate an immense attention to details, designer clothes, obsessive dieting and various attempts to, through partaking in luxurious activities, demonstrate the abundance of his lavish lifestyle and hereby impress the people with whom he associates .

However, this anxiety is not limited to Patrick alone, but lives within Bateman’s entire circle of acquaintances as well - ‘’Evelyn is addicted to Parnate, an...

Find Another Essay On Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho

Gap Between Literary Gothic and Pornography

2238 words - 9 pages [Accessed online: 05/03/2014] Ellis, Bret Easton. (1991) American Psycho. Pan Macmillan Publishers Ferguson, F. (2004) Pornography, the Theory: What Utilitarianism Did to Action. University of Chicago Press. Gingell, A. (2009) ‘Will Self’s Dorian had been described as ‘a homage, a parody and a critical commentary’. How precisely does the work engage with Wilde’s original?’ Innvervate Vol 2. The University of Nottingham [Online] Available from: http

The Psycho of Wall Street: Diagnosing Patrick Bateman in American Psycho

2421 words - 10 pages Fifty years ago, a person breaking the law would either be called crazy or a criminal. Today, the mental health community has much more specific diagnoses. However, the explanation of certain behaviors may be difficult because there is much overlap among mental conditions. In Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho, the protagonist, Patrick Bateman, is apparently simply a psychopath. However, Bateman can be diagnosed with other mental illnesses such

Governmental Morals

905 words - 4 pages are dictated by the government because we are born with a human nature, but the government should enforce on this already planted morals and further expand them. In other words, the government laws are just an attempt to back up what is (or should be) already implanted on our brains. In the book “American Psycho” published in 1991, Bret Easton Ellis criticizes de morals and the materialism of the average high class New Yorker, from the point

Less than zero book review

733 words - 3 pages this age. Ellis doesn't sugarcoat or beat around the bush, he gets to it swinging his fists with elaborate detail and imagery.I thought that this was good reading for the one reason that it was different. I'm sick of the formulaic novels that have been churned out for years. It's only 200 pages or so, so it's worth the time to read it. I learned about Bret Easton Ellis and his work from an interview in High Times magazine. His age at Less Than

Molloy as metafiction: Breaking restraints of novel, narrative & fiction

1438 words - 6 pages Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho feature increasingly unreliable narrators and an overall solipsistic attitude. All drew heavily from Beckett’s oeuvre. From its subversion of traditional narrative structure to its selective use of novelistic conventions like the paragraph, Molloy relentlessly interrogates the act of writing itself. The end result is an overpowering meditation of authorship, language, and the novel’s central theme: control.

The Subconscious Psychopath

3568 words - 15 pages “Is evil something you are? Or is it something you do?” (Easton Ellis). Are we considered evil by our action or thoughts? If we are constantly contemplating evil and horrific thoughts but do not act upon them, the initial thoughts may still influence our unconscious minds, which can then, in turn, affect our conscious thoughts and actions indirectly. Compare that to those who act upon their evil thoughts and therefore are more authentic to

Gender Inequality in Hollywood

2438 words - 10 pages was releasing into the United States, an American screenwriter Bret Easton Ellis had spoken his mind on Twitter. He had posted, “Kathryn Bigelow would be considered a mildly interesting filmmaker if she was a man but since she's a very hot woman she's really overrated." That quote is a prime example of the kind of discrimination against women in Hollywood. Ellis clearly states that just because she is not a man she should not receive the same

Critique of a Website

1611 words - 6 pages . There is one link, called "The Write Stuff," that showcases this month's interview[s] with well-known/ talented writer[s]. In addition, they allow the voyeur to check out past interviews with such people as Nicholson Baker, Bret Easton Ellis, John Shirley, and the William Gibson-interviewing, Larry McCaffrey. Keeping a hold of these past glories is not mere nostalgic patheticism but can actually turn out to be a valuable gold mine for those

My Friend Hamilton -Who I shot

6594 words - 26 pages puzzled over why these two prominent American statesmen confronted each other on the Plains of Weehawken. What circumstances or events could have motivated two of the most brilliant political minds in America to endanger their lives and reputations by taking aim at each other on that dismal day? The recent historiography of the event can be divided into two schools which I shall denote as the “contextual” school and the “psycho-historical

The Logical Choice for Psychological Treatment

3155 words - 13 pages Ellis. Albert Ellis was born in Pittsburgh in 1913 and was raised in New York City (Sketch 1). Ellis was born with a serious kidney disorder and was forced to place his attention on books rather than sports. As a young man, Ellis lived a tumultuous life, living through financial hardships because of the great depression. Because of his financial adversity, Ellis gave up his dream of becoming a great American writer (Sketch, 1). Dr Ellis received

An Ode to the Novel

4014 words - 16 pages purest aspect of our being; Jose Saramago with his wit and understanding of the human spirit, Saul Bellow, with his voice - the voice of our civilization - and conflicted characters, Hunter S. Thompson and Bret Easton Ellis, with their satirical and biting exposé of human excesses and obsession, Harold Bloom with his astute and always informative dissertations of the cunning that is prose and human activity in the realm of literature and thought

Similar Essays

"American Psycho" By Bret Ellis Misogyny: The Voice Of A Generation

1569 words - 6 pages Misogyny is displayed in many different locations today in our generation. Misogyny is defined as "hatred or strong prejudice against women." (Hamilton 1) Misogyny is also portrayed in several forms of literature including American Psycho written by Bret Ellis. Rape can be round anywhere today in our generation because of egotistical individuals who find it to be acceptable. Patrick Bateman the protagonist from American Psycho enjoys raping

Setting Shapes Characters: Patrick Bateman In American´S Psycho

1179 words - 5 pages When Bret Easton Ellis published his third novel, American Psycho, he was extremely criticized for the graphic content of the book. It was violent, obscene and gory. It was later banned in some places, attacked by the liberal journals and he received various death threats. As a young and smart writer he decided not to speak out about the real reasons why he wrote the novel. He was not even able to read it again until the summer of 2001. After

American Pyscho Essay

1004 words - 4 pages a failry good adaptaion of the grisly Bret Easton Ellis book. Having read the novel before seeing the film, i would have to say that Mary Harmon and Co. improved upon the novel by cutting back on the obscene atrocaties that Bateman committs. In place of the brutal violence is a darker more cynical edge than even Ellis could not acheive with the repatative acts of insasne vilonce. American Psycho is not however a perfect film by any means, strong

Sincerely, New York Essay

1050 words - 5 pages Both “Goodbye to All That” by Joan Didion and American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis portray New York as a city where it is horrible to live, filled with homeless men, filth, crime, and complete displeasure, but for some reason, nobody leaves. The perception of New York City given by these two passages is a contradictory one. In both passages the narrators describe the city with great disappointment and Didion also adds a tone of annoyance to