Bateman's Sense of the Repulsive in Brett Easton Ellis' American Psycho

Pages: 4 (1511 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Entrails torn from the body with bare hands, eyes gouged out with razor blades, battery cables, rats borrowing inside the human body, power drills to the face, cannibalism, credit cards, business cards, Dorsia, Testoni, Armani, Wall Street; all of these things are Patrick Bateman's world. The only difference between Bateman and anybody else is what is repulsive to Bateman and what is repulsive to the rest of the world. Bateman has great interest in the upper class life, fashions, and social existence, but at the same time he is, at times, sickened by the constant struggle to be one up on everybody else. On the other hand Bateman's nightlife reveals a side of him never seen during the day. Bateman is relaxed, impulsive, and confident while torturing and killing. He doesn't have to worry about being better than anyone else. The only competition he has is his last victim. Torture and murder are the two true loves of Patrick Bateman. From the beginning of the novel the reader is introduced to an almost mind numbing amount of details of Bateman's social life, wardrobe, cosmetic products, etc. The reader is almost frustrated with the overabundance of details. Why is it important to know what kind of hair gel Bateman used on Tuesday before an important meeting with his friends? What's the point of numerous chapters of extreme analysis of Genesis, Whitney Houston, etc? Bateman's obsessions are extremely complex but at the same time he doesn't limit himself to one area of obsession. Bateman's knowledge of fashion is truly amazing, but what about his knowledge of weapons. His knowledge of pain is a true genius in itself, but how many people can spit out specifications on the frequency responses of various brands of stereo receivers and speaker systems like Bateman? The point can be made that Bateman is simply trying to be better than everyone else, have more stuff, look better, and out do his rival workers, but that's too simple. Bateman is obsessed...
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