American Psycho

American Psycho

Pdf fan Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)
Summary
Analysis
Bateman leaves his office early one day. He goes to his health club to lift weights, and then takes a cab across town to get a facial at his usual spa. In the room, he leaves off the smock he’s supposed to wear; he likes for the woman who gives him his facials, Helga, to check out his body. While he waits, he reads a story about a part bird-part rodent creature in the Post. When Helga enters, she comments about Bateman being back so soon – his last facial was only two days ago. While they settle in, one of the girls hums a song from “Les Misérables” and Bateman tells Helga, in detail, about one of his methods for torturing women. She simply tells him to relax and continues her work. Bateman’s mind wanders; he thinks about things like CD players and women’s vaginas. Another worker comes in to give him his manicure, and he criticizes her work before letting himself be lulled by his luxurious, orderly pampering.
Though Bateman has no interest in Helga, it is important for him that she sees his body and he gets the satisfaction of “knowing” that she is attracted to him. Once again, the class distinctions of the moment – the served and the servant – are emphasized by the evocation of the musical “Les Misérables.” Also, in this moment, Bateman again tells someone completely honestly about the terrible things he does and is ignored – it continues to remain unclear if he’s really saying these things or if the people he’s saying them to are genuinely not fazed by them in any way. His mind wanders to material items and objectified women, before he is rude to someone who he views, like his dry cleaners, as a kind of servant to him.
Themes
Materialism and Consumption Theme Icon
Identity and Isolation Theme Icon
Monotony and Desensitization Theme Icon
Vice and Violence Theme Icon
The Truth Theme Icon