American Psycho

Themes

According to Hunter, American Psycho is largely a critique of the "shallow and vicious aspects of capitalism."[7] The characters are predominately concerned with material gain and superficial appearances, traits indicative of a postmodern world in which the 'surface' reigns supreme. This leads Patrick Bateman to act as if "everything is a commodity, including people,"[8] an attitude that is further evident in the rampant objectification of women that occurs in the novel. This distancing allows Bateman to rationalize his actions,[9] in one anthropophagic scene, Bateman remarks "though it does sporadically penetrate how unacceptable some of what I'm doing actually is, I just remind myself that this thing, this girl, this meat, is nothing..."[10]

Patrick Bateman's consumption of what he views as nothing more than a piece of meat is an almost parodically literal interpretation of a monster created by consumer culture. This, combined with sex, violence, drugs, and other desires of the id, is how Bateman realizes his base urges in a superficial world.[11]


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