Saturday, April 28, 2012

American Psycho; a brief deconstruction of the ending


In case it wasn't utterly obvious:

SPOILERS

"Was happened at the end of 'American Psycho?'"

I think Bateman killed everyone and did everything he did. Why? Because, at the heart of the story is, I think, a satirical deconstruction of the 80s, but also of something else. I think the utter point of the story was how people will allow themselves to be blind towards evil.

Most of the people in the story, be they good or evil, cannot see the blatant evil that is in front of them. They are oblivious. Not unlike how many of us are in the case of glossing over headlines depicting rape and murder in our desire for comfort found in the funnies.

Sure, everyone loves to rag on the 80s. And, sure, there is plenty there to rag on e.g. hairstyles. However, at the end, Bateman is essentially free to do whatever he pleases. Everything he does, from cannibalism to three ways to chainsaws to wanting to kill a woman right in front of him, echoes this. His desire for human perfection is not only coupled with narcissism but also reflection. He seems to know who and what he is.

He knows he is evil. Nobody else seems capable of grasping this.

And that frightens him at the end. He seems to realize that is may in fact be entirely sane, while everyone else is bonkers. It frightens him because the entire crux of the story rests on this one little conclusion:

Bateman is not accountable. And that frightens him.

Thoughts?

--Nick

1 comment:

  1. Ellis' writing style tends to veer more towards nihilism, putting the "morality" ball in the reader/viewer's court. He doesn't just make characters simply "misguided" or "confused", he makes them either evil or blind. I believe you are absolutely right, however, the protagonists are given no accountability.

    As sad as I am to say this, I believe that, given no consequence or accountability, more people would be like Bateman.

    - Adrienne

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