Set in the Manhattan of 1989. Brett Easton Ellis’s fresh American Psycho sketches the life of Patrick Bateman. an attractive 26-year-old Harvard alumnus who earns a six-figure income on Wall Street. Bateman and his Ivy League educated friends enjoy all the luxury Manhattan has to offer. including expensive eating houses. sole cabarets and inordinate sums of cocaine. However. what their money. instruction and beauty truly affords them is the right to mortify. harass. and in Bateman’s instance to kill. those in the societal categories beneath them. The satirical. yet hideous. narrative that unfolds throughout American Psycho highlights the inequality between the richest and poorest Americans. a spread that widened well in the 1980s thanks in portion to the economic policies of Ronald Reagan.
In add-on to cut downing the revenue enhancement rate on affluent Americans from 70 % to 28 % . President Reagan authorized deregulating that encouraged corporate amalgamations and made cuts to societal plans that left many Americans homeless ( Foner 1037 ) . By cut downing the revenue enhancement rate. Reagan intended to promote sound private investings thereby making occupations. However. many flush Americans used the money saved in revenue enhancements to buy luxury merchandises alternatively. Corporate amalgamations. or more bluffly corporate coup d’etats. spurred the deindustrialization of America. While deindustrialization eliminated many high-paying fabrication occupations and left several Americans unemployed. the corporate coup d’etats that spurred the deindustrialization created a enormous sum of wealth on Wall Street. Reagan besides reduced financess allotted for public lodging and psychiatric infirmaries. This financial determination merely increased the figure of stateless persons across America. particularly in urban countries such as New York City ( Foner 1037-40 ) .
Throughout American Psycho Bateman’s Wall Street cohorts address the rampant homelessness in Manhattan with a mixture of disdain and amusement. In the first pages of the novel. Timothy Price. a immature stockbroker on his manner uptown. complains about his six-figure income as he counts the thirtieth homeless individual he has seen that twenty-four hours ( 3-7 ) . Leaving an sole cabaret. Craig McDermott. another rich stockbroker. teases a homeless adult female and her kid with a individual dollar measure before puting it on fire ( 210 ) . Bateman. nevertheless. is more sadistic than his friends are. Before mangling and killing a homeless adult male. Bateman offers the adult male money but asks him why he does non acquire a occupation. When the adult male says he was laid off. Bateman asks rhetorically. “Do you think it’s carnival to take money from people who do hold occupations? Who do work? ” ( 129-30 )
The text contains a strong subject of Social Darwinism. Bateman and his friends do non experience a pang of guilt over their intervention of those less fortunate because they adhere to the belief that the lower class deserves the mistreatment society allots them. merely as the privileged are entitled to the particular intervention society grants them. Although Ellis addresses the spread between the rich and hapless in America through black sarcasm. his word picture of the yuppie life style and how the homeless are treated is non wholly inflated. While on holiday in New York City. I observed the hostile and frequently apathetic intervention the homeless receive. In the fiscal territory of Manhattan merely blocks from Wall Street. I saw a immature. well-groomed professional adult female about bump into a homeless adult male and. after glowering at him for a minute. remarked. “You’ve got to be pull the leg ofing me. ”
In Patrick Bateman’s universe. a universe where the privileged enjoy a munificent life style. no 1 asks why. Their sense of entitlement overrides their wonder. so that non a individual character asks why the homeless line the streets. In the foreword to American Psycho Ellis quotes a words from a Talking Heads vocal that reads. “And as things fell apart. cipher paid much attending. ” In that novel. and possibly outside it. things fell apart. and cipher paid much attending.
Ellis. Brett. American Psycho. 1st erectile dysfunction. New York City: Vintage. 1991. Print.
Foner. Eric. Give Me Liberty! 2nd erectile dysfunction. Vol. 2. New York City: W. W. & A ;
Norton. 2007. 1037-140. Print.