American Psycho

American Psycho


Bret Easton Ellis

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American Psycho: Lunch Summary & Analysis

Bateman is out to lunch at a new club with another Wall Street banker named Armstrong. Armstrong is telling him about his recent trip to the Bahamas and the benefits for travelers of going to such a place. While he speaks, Bateman completely zones out, going back to the morning when he was watching “The Patty Winters Show” in his apartment (the topic was “toddler murderers”), eating breakfast, and staring at the crack in the ceiling above his David Onica that he’d previously tried to tell his superintendent about.
Bateman is having another monotonous and uninteresting Wall Street lunch; this time, he’s barely even listening to what Armstrong is saying, and replies only to prompt him to keep talking (so he can keep daydreaming) or to mock him. Today’s topic on “The Patty Winters Show” is especially strange – they’re starting to get stranger.
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Bateman tunes back into Armstrong for a moment, and then out again, as Bateman internally describes his morning commute being interrupted by a “Gay Pride Parade.” It irritated him so much he had to rush home to torture and kill a dog he’d purchased earlier in the week. Armstrong is now talking about sports attractions at resorts, and Bateman can’t help but think what an imbecile he is. Without listening to his responses, Bateman starts asking Armstrong questions to keep him talking. Meanwhile, Bateman looks disgustedly at the food on their table and fantasizes about slitting his own wrists, just so he could spray Armstrong with his blood. Bateman starts interjecting to tell Armstrong he’s an “asshole” and that his life “is a living hell,” but Armstrong doesn’t even notice. This continues until the chapter ends abruptly in the middle of one of Armstrong’s sentences.
Once again, Bateman displays a disgust for homosexuality and a compulsion for violence to make himself feel better. This lunch is the first and only time in the novel when he fantasizes about violence against himself – a sign of how miserable he is in the monotony of his life, as well as the flippant way he thinks about all lives, including his own. During this terrible lunch, Bateman once again references hell, suggesting that this monotony is also a motivator of the pain and suffering in the novel.
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