American Psycho

American Psycho

American Psycho Killing Dog Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Bateman is in his apartment. Courtney has called him, too wasted on pills to be able to go to dinner, so he stays in to watch television. He goes through a lengthy exercise routine in his living room (even though he’s already been to the gym) and goes shopping, where he buys a number of expensive clothing items. Bateman recounts how he spent time earlier in the evening making obscene phone calls to young Dalton girls, choosing numbers from a directory he stole when he broke into the school.
Courtney’s drug habit is once again affecting her life, though the consequences are much less dire than when this happens to Bateman. When given the free time, Bateman seizes the opportunity to make himself feel powerful by exercising, spending money, and assaulting women.
Themes
Materialism and Consumption Theme Icon
Monotony and Desensitization Theme Icon
Vice and Violence Theme Icon
Out on the street, Bateman passes by someone who looks familiar. The man says hello to him, calling him Kevin. Bateman passes a homeless woman who is incredibly high and he thinks about killing her, but decides she’s too easy of a target. He passes a street performer who he also decides not to kill. Bateman then stops in front of D’Agostino’s and peers through the window, imagining himself spending lots of money on groceries, before continuing to wander through the dark streets.
On his walk, Bateman is faced with the usual case of mistaken identity and urge of violence against a homeless person. For some reason, he’s choosing not to act on his desires for the first part of this walk. Instead, he supposes he’ll spend lots of money, but decides not to do that either. This is unusual behavior for him.
Themes
Materialism and Consumption Theme Icon
Identity and Isolation Theme Icon
Vice and Violence Theme Icon
The Truth Theme Icon
Eventually, Bateman comes along an older gay man walking his dog. He stops to greet the man and his dog, and has a conversation about the pronunciation of the dog’s breed: shar-pei. The man tells Bateman about how he pampers the dog, getting his eye bags surgically lifted every two years, and tells Bateman that he’s attractive enough to be a model. Bateman leans down to pet the dog and picks it up by its throat, squeezing so hard he can hear its trachea being crushed. He takes out a knife and cuts the dog’s stomach open, leaving it crawling around on the ground, dragging its own intestines. The man is in complete shock, but before he can do anything, Bateman slashes his throat and runs off. He runs back to D’Agostino’s, where he uses a coupon to purchase cereal before running back outside to hurry through the dark streets.
After his thwarted attempt to kill Luis, Bateman seems eager to get another opportunity to murder a gay person. Bateman, who barely values other people, let alone dogs, is perturbed by the care this man gives to his pet. He delights in using his hands to kill it, small and powerless as it is, and gets satisfaction not just from the killing but from traumatizing the dog’s owner by making him watch it. Bateman does this all in public, and this is a man whom people will likely come looking after. His tactic of killing people that won’t be missed is really beginning to slip—or, alternately, his hallucinations/subconscious desires for violence are growing more unrealistic. Afterwards, he continues his evening like nothing happened.
Themes
Monotony and Desensitization Theme Icon
Vice and Violence Theme Icon
The Truth Theme Icon