Patrick Bateman in "American Psycho" - A Freudian Analysis

Topics: Sigmund Freud, Psychosexual development, Anal stage, Phallic stage, Oral stage / Pages: 5 (1424 words) / Published: Nov 30th, 2006
Character Description

Patrick Bateman was a young, white, ivy leagued male who worked on Wall Street in the 1980's era of self indulgence and materialism. He was driven to be perfect and to be the best at everything he does no matter what the cost. Material things meant more to Patrick than life itself which was clearly stated in the movie. Patrick was vain and self absorbed person who treated his body like a temple. He spent his days and nights doing vigorous workouts, mergers and acquisitions on Wall Street, fine dining with beautiful ladies and satisfying an insatiable and uncontrollable lust for torture and murder in the "big apple".

Patrick Bateman was the ultimate serial killer who killed victims from all walks of life such as homeless people, friends, family and co-workers without fear or remorse. He killed for many reasons which included material obsession, envy of co-workers who accomplished more than him, pure hatred for what he deemed to be the weak and pathetic people in society and blatant insanity at times. He appeared to enjoy killing women in particular including one that he seemed genuinely affectionate for.

Throughout the film, Patrick kills over 20 people. Many times he could not tell whether or not the events were real or simply a part of a psychotic delusion brought on by his problems. His character revealed the inner goings on in his mind by narrating these thoughts throughout the film. Patrick acknowledged that what he was doing was wrong. He noted that he had been depersonalized and that he had lost the ability to feel compassion for others, but he was unable to understand why; he was also unable or unwilling to do anything about it.

Analysis: Psychosexual Stages of Development

Freud would likely say that Patrick Bateman had a normal Oral Stage of psychosexual development because he did not seem to have any of the "symptoms" that would result in having problems in this area such as smoking, nail biting, overeating or constant chewing of

References: Psychology. (n.d.). Freud 's Psychosexual Stages of Development. Retrieved July 9, 2005 from Boeree, G.C. (1997). Personality theories: Sigmund Freud. Pennsylvania, USA: Shippensburg University Psychology Department. Retrieved July 9, 2005 from Harron, M. (Director). (2000). American Psycho [Motion Picture]. USA: Lions gate Films. Putman, D. (2000). American Psycho movie review. USA: Retrieved July 9, 2005 from

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