American Psycho

American Psycho


Bret Easton Ellis

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American Psycho: Bum on Fifth Summary & Analysis

Bateman is walking near Central Park. He takes a moment to remember the spot where he murdered a young boy and where he fed one woman’s remains to some dogs. He takes in the sky and the wind around him, and looks up longingly at Trump Tower. He then sees Al, the bum he attacked and blinded previously, sitting with his dog and a sign claiming he was in the Vietnam War. Though Al cannot see him, the dog seems to recognize Bateman and tenses up. Bateman leans in and tells Al “You never were in Vietnam.” Now Al knows who Bateman is, and he pisses his pants and begs for mercy. Bateman moves on without doing anything, and tells the reader about the day’s episode of “The Patty Winters Show” (a Cheerio was interviewed for an hour), the horrific knife attack of a woman wearing fur by an animal rights activist, and the bone he found in the Dove bar he ate earlier.
Bateman is taking a stroll down memory lane, in a way, remembering fondly his past crimes and the places he committed them. His description of the sky and skyline is quite beautiful actually, and his longing for Trump Tower reveals a sense of melancholy towards something he’s always revered. When he comes across Al, he is again cruel, mocking his sign and intimidating Al so much that he pisses his pants. Bateman, however, decides not to be violent in this moment, maybe because of the way he was feeling earlier. However, all of this is once again thrown aside when he mentions a very strange episode of “The Patty Winters Show” and other unimaginable, hallucinatory experiences he had earlier in the day.
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