American Psycho And Social Criticism Illusion Or Reality
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|Author||: Lena Groß|
|Editor||: GRIN Verlag|
Seminar paper from the year 2013 in the subject English - Literature, Works, grade: 1,0, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, language: English, abstract: The filming of Bret Easton Ellis’ bestseller novel American Psycho caused a major scandal after its publication in 2000 (Lee Brien). It covers the story of the serial killer Patrick Bateman, who enjoys a good reputation everywhere in Manhattan. Bateman is a young, athletic, handsome, successful, and stereotypical 1980s yuppie, who you are able to see in magazines, journals, advertising for Calvin Klein or Hugo Boss, and on Wall Street. On the other hand, he murders, rapes, tortures, mutilates, and cannibalizes his victims, but his cruel acts remain undetected. At first sight, Patrick’s behavior seems very irritating because he neither provides the audience with any reasons for his murders, nor with any psychological insight into his character to justify his actions. Taking a closer look, his behavior and violence are an expression of the materialistic, superficial nature of the American society to which Bateman wants to belong “and into which his sickness and inhumanity do actually ‘fit’” (Horsley 222). Although a lot of Bateman’s brutal actions are shown, at the end of the movie the audience comes to question if all these murders really happened because some inconsistencies in his story become apparent e.g. Bateman outlines the murder of a man, who at this point was not even in town. Therefore, the question is raised as to whether the murders are real or just a product of Bateman’s imagination, and if they are real, is the society so over the top that not even the crime matters and he is able to escape unpunished? In this paper, this question and especially what the murders are about to express either way will be analyzed in view of social criticism. Therefore, first of all, American society in the 1980s will be outlined to help the reader better understand the contemporary historical background to which the movie refers. Subsequently, the amoral materialism in American consumer society pictured in American Psycho will be described to clarify the social circumstances Bateman lives in. Accordingly, Bateman’s cruel actions will be analyzed and its truth content will be discussed to later on conclude that this kind of society is not able to fulfill his life and by the help of violence Bateman wants to escape the conformity of America’s superficial society.
|Author||: Chris Dumas|
|Editor||: Intellect Books|
Brian De Palma is perhaps best known as the director behind the gangster classic Scarface. Yet as ingrained as Scarface is in American popular culture, it is but one of a sizable number of controversial films—many of which are consistently misread or ignored—directed by De Palma over his more than four-decade career. In Un-American Psycho, Chris Dumas places De Palma’s body of work in dialogue with the works of other provocative filmmakers, including Alfred Hitchcock, Jean-Luc Godard, and Francis Ford Coppola with the aim of providing a broader understanding of the narrative, stylistic, and political gestures that characterize De Palma’s filmmaking. De Palma’s films engage with a wide range of issues surrounding American political and social culture, and this volume offers a rethinking of the received wisdom on his work.
|Author||: Timm Gehrmann|
|Editor||: GRIN Verlag|
Seminar paper from the year 2006 in the subject American Studies - Literature, grade: 1,7, University of Wuppertal, course: Issues in American Society - Literary Negotiations, 2 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis and Cosmpolis by Don De Lillo both are stories that depict the decadence of their time, hinting at social, moral and political issues that are of importance in their respective times. In both books New York as the world centre of capitalism serves as a stage for two main characters who are shapen by the enormous amounts of money they have at their disposal. The characters and their interaction with society are the central points in both books. While Don De Lillo's Cosmopolis deals at a time no clearly defined, which is probably supposed to be the post modern world of the early 2000s, Bret Easton Ellis' book is set in the booming New York of the 80s where people who work on Wall Street are treated like pop stars and many of them well known as heroes of capitalism (e.g. Warren Buffet and Donald Trump). The book by Bret Easton Ellis takes us into this decadent cocain addicted world, that basically revolves the hunger for parties and sex. The book by Don De Lillo presents a totally different atmosphere. The atmosphere is rather shapen by fear of those that have come too short in the capitalist world and the security needs of those who work on wall street who have by now become anonymous figures, that may only be identified by their stretch limousines. The world of Cosmopolis has become darker and more dangerous; wild parties are no longer celebrated, just as get togethers of business people don't seem to happen in public, mainly for security reasons. The pace of the world has also changed as computers and video transmit news from all over the world into cars that have become indistinguishable from offices. Yet both books have a lot in common in terms of the topics they deal with and the kinds of ch
|Author||: Julian Murphet|
|Editor||: A&C Black|
This is part of a new series of guides to contemporary novels. The aim of the series is to give readers accessible and informative introductions to some of the most popular, most acclaimed and most influential novels of recent years - from The Remains of the Day' to White Teeth'. A team of contemporary fiction scholars from both sides of the Atlantic has been assembled to provide a thorough and readable analysis of each of the novels in question.
|Author||: Bret Easton Ellis|
|Editor||: Pan Macmillan|
A cult classic, adapted into a film starring Christian Bale. Is evil something you are? Or is it something you do? Patrick Bateman has it all: good looks, youth, charm, a job on Wall Street, reservations at every new restaurant in town and a line of girls around the block. He is also a psychopath. A man addicted to his superficial, perfect life, he pulls us into a dark underworld where the American Dream becomes a nightmare . . . With an introduction by Irvine Welsh, Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho is one of the most controversial and talked-about novels of all time. A multi-million-copy bestseller hailed as a modern classic, it is a violent black comedy about the darkest side of human nature.
|Author||: Florian Burkhardt|
|Editor||: GRIN Verlag|
Seminar paper from the year 2005 in the subject American Studies - Culture and Applied Geography, grade: 2,0, University of Stuttgart, 10 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Bret Easton Ellis’American psychohas been a highly controversial book. Many critics condemned this novel before it had been published so Ellis even had to search for a new publishing company. The indignation atAmerican psychohad been so fierce, it verged on hysteria and some interest groups (feminist and religious groups for instance) agitated against the author and his work1. The main reason why critics reacted that outraged was the explicit and detailed description of violence in this book2. In this paper I will discuss the appearence of violence inAmerican psycho.But first I want to create a picture of social phenomena in the USA of the 80’s as they are described in the novel, in order to provide the setting, the atmosphere in which the violence takes place. This will help to give an opinion of this violence and to interpret it. Then I will discuss how violence is presented in the text. In the fourth
|Author||: Michael Frank|
|Editor||: GRIN Verlag|
Examination Thesis from the year 2009 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1,5, University of Heidelberg, language: English, abstract: "Art has always reflected society. [...] Fight Club examines violence and the roots of frustration that are causing people to reach out for such radical solutions. And that's exactly the sort of discussion we should be having about our culture. Because a culture that doesn't examine its violence is a culture in denial, which is much more dangerous." This assessment of Fight Club by Edward Norton, who plays the narrator in the novel’s movie adaptation, explains the reasoning behind this thesis, which examines the basic principles of today’s consumer culture, its connection to aggression and violence, and the way these topics are presented in two contemporary novels: Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho and Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club. In these books, the respective protagonists face similar deadlocks connected to life in the consumerist world of the 1980s and 1990s. Despite, evidently, having everything a person could ask for, both main characters’ lives remain unfulfilled, leaving them frustrated and dissatisfied. As it turns out, acts of violence become the only thing that lets them get away from the boredom of their daily routine and gives them a sense of satisfaction.
|Author||: M. Dwairy|
This book confronts the barriers that face the cross-cultural application of western psychotherapy. It puts forward an argument for applying culture analysis, in which the therapist analyses the inconsistencies within the client's culture, before applying psychoanalysis, in which the analyst analyses the intra-psychic conflicts.
|Author||: Tomáš Koblížek|
|Editor||: Bloomsbury Publishing|
The notion of aesthetic illusion relates to a number of art forms and media. Defined as a pleasurable mental state that emerges during the reception of texts and artefacts, it amounts to the reader's or viewer's sense of having entered the represented world while at the same time keeping a distance from it. Aesthetic Illusion in Literature and the Arts is an in-depth study of the main questions surrounding this experience of art as reality. Beginning with an introduction providing historical background to modern discussions of illusion, it deals with a wide range of theoretical issues. The collection explores the nature and function of the aesthetic illusion as well as the role of affect and emotion, the implications of aesthetic illusion for the theory of fiction, the variable forms of aesthetic illusion and its relationship to other components of aesthetic response. Aesthetic Illusion in Literature and the Arts brings together a team of scholars from philosophy, literature and art and presents an interdisciplinary examination of a concept lying at the heart of contemporary aesthetics.
|Author||: Naomi Mandel|
|Editor||: Bloomsbury Publishing|
This collection of critical essays on the American novelist Bret Easton Ellis examines the novels of his mature period: American Psycho (1991), Glamorama (1999), and Lunar Park (2005). Taking as its starting-point American Psycho's seismic impact on contemporary literature and culture, the volume establishes Ellis' centrality to the scholarship and teaching of contemporary American literature in the U.S. and in Europe. Contributors examine the alchemy of acclaim and disdain that accrues to this controversial writer, provide an overview of growing critical material on Ellis and review the literary and artistic significance of his recent work. Exploring key issues including violence, literature, reality, reading, identity, genre, and gender, the contributors together provide a critical re-evaluation of Ellis, exploring how he has impacted, challenged, and transformed contemporary literature in the U.S. and abroad.
|Author||: Steven R. Serafin,Alfred Bendixen|
|Editor||: A&C Black|
More than ten years in the making, this comprehensive single-volume literary survey is for the student, scholar, and general reader. The Continuum Encyclopedia of American Literature represents a collaborative effort, involving 300 contributors from across the US and Canada. Composed of more than 1,100 signed biographical-critical entries, this Encyclopedia serves as both guide and companion to the study and appreciation of American literature. A special feature is the topical article, of which there are 70.
American Consumer Culture and Its Society From F Scott Fitzgerald s 1920s Modernism to Bret Easton Ellis 1980s Blank Fiction
|Author||: Johannes Malkmes|
|Editor||: Diplomica Verlag|
Die vorliegende Studie stellt eine kritische Auseinandersetzung mit der amerikanischen Konsumkultur des 20. Jahrhunderts dar. Dabei wird ein Schwerpunkt auf die historische Entwicklung von der Ständegesellschaft des späten 18. und frühen 19. Jahrhunderts bis hin zur Klassengesellschaft des 20. Jahrhunderts gelegt, da dieser epochale Wandel in bisherigen vergleichbaren literaturwissenschaftlichen Diskussionen zur Konsumkultur trotz seiner themenbezogenen Relevanz keine adäquate Berücksichtigung fand. Der Begriff der Konsumkultur als interdisziplinäres Problem wird nicht als gegeben verstanden und ausführlich definiert. Die soziokulturelle Entwicklung wird im Rahmen von F. Scott Fitzgeralds The Great Gatsby (1925) und Bret Easton Ellis American Psycho (1991) nachvollzogen, da beide Werke ihre Hauptdarsteller anhand ihrer sozialen Herkunft, ihrer sozialen Milieus und ihres Konsums als stereotypische Vertreter der jeweiligen Epoche charakterisieren und versinnbildlichen. In beiden Werken wird der jeweilige kulturelle Hintergrund – das amerikanische Jazz Age sowie die Reagan Administration mit ihrer Yuppie Kultur – äußerst kritisch abgehandelt. Eine vergleichende Analyse beider Werke in Bezug auf die gravierende Entwicklung ihrer literarischen Darstellung von Konsum im Verlauf des 20. Jahrhunderts unter kritischer Berücksichtigung des jeweiligen volkswirtschaftlichen, politischen und gesellschaftlichen Hintergrunds wurde in dieser Form noch nicht veröffentlicht. Ein Fokus dieser Arbeit betrifft die Zwischenkriegszeit in Jahren von 1920 bis 1930, da diese Dekade maßgebend war für den epochalen Wandel der amerikanischen Klassen- hin zu einer Konsumgesellschaft und des amerikanischen Lebensstils zum Ende der 1980er Jahre. Detailliert betrachtet werden in diesem Zusammenhang konkrete Konsumverstärker wie fortschreitende Technologien, Entwicklungen zu Mode- und Freizeitbranchen, finanzielle Marktentwicklungen und der geografische Wandel. Die Entstehung der World Trade Organisation symbolisiert letztendlich den Sieg von Demokratie und amerikanisierter, globaler Konsumkultur. Anhand der genannten Werke wird nicht nur der Umgang mit Konsum interpretiert, sondern auch dessen Versprechen, die propagierende Darstellung des amerikanischen Traumes, die eine gravierende Veränderung hin zum kapitalistischen Materialismus aufzeigt.
|Author||: Marco Caracciolo|
|Editor||: U of Nebraska Press|
A storyteller's craft can often be judged by how convincingly the narrative captures the identity and personality of its characters. In this book, the characters who take center stage are "strange" first-person narrators: they are fascinating because of how they are at odds with what the reader would wish or expect to hear--while remaining reassuringly familiar in voice, interactions, and conversations. Combining literary analysis with research in cognitive and social psychology, Marco Caracciolo focuses on readers' encounters with the "strange" narrators of ten contemporary novels, including Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho, Haruki Murakami's Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, and Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Caracciolo explores readers' responses to narrators who suffer from neurocognitive or developmental disorders, who are mentally disturbed due to multiple personality disorder or psychopathy, whose consciousness is split between two parallel dimensions or is disembodied, who are animals, or who lose their sanity. A foray into current work on reception, reader-response, cognitive literary study, and narratology, Strange Narrators in Contemporary Fiction illustrates why any encounter with a fictional text is a complex negotiation of interlaced feelings, thoughts, experiences, and interpretations.
|Author||: Ashley M. Donnelly|
Subverting Mainstream Narratives in the Reagan Era explores how artists, novelists, and directors were able to present narratives of strong dissent in popular culture during the Reagan Era. Using but subverting the tools of mainstream novels and films, these visionaries’ works were featured alongside other books in major bookstores and promoted alongside blockbusters in movie theatres across the country. Ashley M. Donnelly discusses how the artists accomplished this, why it is so important, and how new artists can use these techniques in today’s homogenous and mundane media.
|Author||: David Simmons|
In this book, Simmons argues that class, as much as race and gender, played a significant role in the development of Gothic and Horror fiction in a national context. From the classic texts of Edgar Allen Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne right through to contemporary examples, such as the novels of Stephen King and Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Series, class remains an ever present though understudied element. This study will appeal to scholars of American Studies, English literature, Media and Cultural Studies interested in class representations in the horror genre from the nineteenth century to the present day.
|Author||: Gale Research Company|
|Editor||: Twentieth-Century Literary Cri|
Excerpts from criticism of the works of novelists, poets, playwrights, and other creative writers, 1900-1960.
|Author||: Bret Easton Ellis|
Set in Los Angeles in the early 1980's, Less than Zero has become a timeless classic. This coolly mesmerizing novel is a raw, powerful portrait of a lost generation who have experienced sex, drugs, and disaffection at too early an age. They live in a world shaped by casual nihilism, passivity, and too much money in a place devoid of feeling or hope. Clay comes home for Christmas vacation from his Eastern college and re-enters a landscape of limitless privilege and absolute moral entropy, where everyone drives Porches, dines at Spago, and snorts mountains of cocaine. He tries to renew feelings for his girlfriend, Blair, and for his best friend from high school, Julian, who is careering into hustling and heroin. Clay's holiday turns into a dizzying spiral of desperation that takes him through the relentless parties in glitzy mansions, seedy bars, and underground rock clubs and also into the seamy world of L.A. after dark.
|Author||: Robert Bloch|
She was a fugitive, lost in a storm. That was when she saw the sign: MOTEL - VACANCY. She switched off the engine and sat thinking, alone and frightened. The stolen money wouldn't help her, and Sam couldn't either, because she had taken the wrong turning. There was nothing she could do now - she had made her grave and she'd have to lie in it. She froze. Where had THAT come from? It was BED, not GRAVE. She shivered in the cold car, surrounded by shadows. Then, without a sound, a dark shape emerged from the blackness and the car door opened...
|Author||: Theresa Wenzel|
|Editor||: GRIN Verlag|
Thesis (M.A.) from the year 2007 in the subject American Studies - Literature, grade: 1,0, University of Göttingen, 25 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Clothes, as Diana Crane establishes in her book Fashion and Its Social Agendas, “are a major tool in the construction of identity, offering a wide range of choices for the expression of lifestyles or subcultural identities” (171). However: “Social scientists have not articulated a definitive interpretation of how a person constructs social identity in contemporary society” (Crane 2). This might be one of the reasons why clothing has found its way into fiction, contributing to the characterization of protagonists and fictional world alike. The versatility of postmodern texts makes the analysis of clothing in connection with the process of constructing identities especially rewarding. The term postmodernism is hard to define. In the preface to his book The Illusions of Postmodernism Terry Eagleton makes a distinction between postmodernism and postmodernity: The word postmodernism generally refers to a form of contemporary culture, whereas the term postmodernity alludes to a specific historical period. Postmodernity is a style of thought which is suspicious of classical notions of truth, reason, identity and objectivity, of the idea of universal progress or emancipation, of single frameworks, grand narratives or ultimate grounds of explanation. (vii) Postmodernism, then, reflects these notions in what Eagleton calls “a depthless, decentred, ungrounded, self-reflexive, playful, derivative, eclectic, pluralistic art which blurs the boundaries between ‘high’ and ‘popular’ culture, as well as between art and everyday experience” (vii). Although his definition is not in favor of postmodernism, it does indicate how diverse subject-matter as well as style in postmodern texts can be. In other words, “anything goes” (Mayer 543).