American Psycho

American Psycho

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American Psycho Killing Child at Zoo Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Days pass strangely – Bateman has been unable to sleep and feels his mind going. This morning’s episode of “The Patty Winters Show” was about a boy who fell in love with a box of soap. Bateman finds himself wandering through Central Park, cursing out a janitor who tells him to flush and looking disgustedly at two drunk, gay, homeless men. In the Zoo, he passes the seal tank and reads a sign about how coins tossed into the water can kill the animals. He tosses in a handful.
Bateman’s introduction to this chapter, discussing the trouble he’s been having sleeping and his general air of confusion, can serve as a warning to the reader that he is an increasingly unstable and unreliable narrator, and the very strange topic of this episode of “The Patty Winters Show” supports this. He takes to the park, judging the common people around him and intentionally harming animals just for fun.
Themes
Monotony and Desensitization Theme Icon
Vice and Violence Theme Icon
The Truth Theme Icon
Bateman spots a five-year-old boy with his mother. The boy’s mother instructs him to throw away a wrapper in a garbage can near Bateman. When the boy comes over, Bateman offers him a cookie, before grabbing him and stabbing him in the neck. Bateman moves away and watches as the mother, who first thinks her child is just lying on the ground playing, discovers his dead body. Pretending to be a doctor, Bateman runs back over and places his hand over the boy’s wound. There is complete chaos, as the mother screams and a large crowd of people surround the scene. A cop arrives and pushes Bateman out of the way, ripping the boys clothes off and carrying him onto the cement just as he sputters and finally dies. The mother has to be restrained. Bateman leaves the park, stopping to buy a Dove bar, and eats happily, his hands still covered in blood.
In another shocking murder, Bateman kills a small child in public. Bateman is savage in his choice of helpless victim and unconcerned with being caught in the act. Even after killing the child, he not only sticks around the scene but dives in to act as if he’s coming to the rescue – a very bold act for a man who’s just slaughtered a young boy in broad daylight. Bateman has gotten both bold and reckless in his murders, and even so, is unfazed by his actions, grabbing an ice cream afterwards. Bear in mind, however, that Bateman’s introduction to this chapter casts a shadow of unreliability onto his description of these events.
Themes
Materialism and Consumption Theme Icon
Monotony and Desensitization Theme Icon
Vice and Violence Theme Icon
The Truth Theme Icon