American Psycho

American Psycho

American Psycho Health Club Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The Upper East Side health club Bateman belongs to comes complete with multiple tennis courts, aerobics classes, a juice bar, and more. He arrives and changes into a Lycra tank top and shorts. Before leaving the locker room he checks himself in the mirror and is forced to turn around and fix his hair. He quickly passes the woman who works at the desk – “a dumpy chick who is in love with me” – and heads for the Stairmaster, where there is usually a line, but isn’t. Bateman notices “some faggot” already waiting behind him, checking him out, no doubt.
Bateman’s fitness routine is an important part of his physical upkeep. Like his morning routine, it is incredibly specific and regimented – he seems to methodically stick to the same routine every time. Even at the gym, he still obsesses over his physical appearance, judges others, and is preoccupied with women (and men) admiring him. His focus on the man waiting behind him for the Stairmaster again shows the homophobia which results from his obsession over his own masculinity.
Themes
Materialism and Consumption Theme Icon
Monotony and Desensitization Theme Icon
As he exercises, Bateman reminisces about the day’s episode of “The Patty Winters Show,” which was about women with big breasts. One woman had gotten a breast reduction; Bateman immediately called McDermott to mock her. He takes the reader through the remainder of his exercise routine, which includes a specific number of sets on specific machines to target specific, individual muscle groups.
Today’s episode of “The Patty Winters Show” is another moment for Bateman and his friends to de-value women based on their own standard of appearance and to mock those they feel are less valuable than them. Note that the topic of the show itself is realistic for such a tabloid show. As the book progresses the topics discussed on the Patty Winter show will become increasingly wild, indicating that Bateman might have begun to lose his mind (or that society has).
Themes
Materialism and Consumption Theme Icon
The Truth Theme Icon
Once Bateman has worked through his entire body, he showers and heads out. Along his way, he stops by the video store, returning She-Male Reformatory and re-renting Body Double, though his date with Courtney tonight means he won’t be able to “masturbate over the scene where the woman is drilled to death by a power drill.”
Bateman’s desire to masturbate over the film’s violent scene is one of the first instances of him getting sexual satisfaction from violence, though this will escalate to intense degrees over the course of the novel.
Themes
Vice and Violence Theme Icon