Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Patrick Bateman Does Not Exist?

          So we watched American Psycho in class today. And we also talked about Postmodernism/Poststructuralism with a pinch of Capitalism. For those of you who aren't philosophers (like me) would have given a blank stare at how these two coincide. Well, let me tell you how. Postmodernism is the idea that nothing is real, or genuine; everything is an imitation of something that's already been done. Andy Warhol portrayed that beautifully with his Campbell's Soup painting. Warhol didn't come up with the company's logo or design; he copied it. He didn't take credit for the creation of the actual image because that would be copyrighting and that's not allowed. BUT, there's another side to postmodernism as well. Warhol's painting not really the Campbell's Soup logo. Why? Because it's not the actual thing itself. His painting is a copy, an imitation, of the actual can for Campbell's Soup. Now take this idea and put it with American Psycho. 
          "There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman. Some kind of abstraction. But there is no real me. Only an entity; something illusory. And though I can hide my cold gaze and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours, and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable, I simply am not there." This is probably the best example of postmodernism, and capitalism, there is. Postmodernism because the character clearly states that he is not real. Yes, he is flesh and bone therefore he is real but his identity is not. His identity, his character, is purely made up, something he has put together. It is constructed by the things he buys. Here is where capitalism fits in. You are what you buy. Bateman exemplifies everything that he purchases thus giving us a capitalistic view. Capitalism is a purely consumer based economy. Because Bateman is a copy, an imitation, of who Patrick Bateman is, or thought to be by his peers, he is a postmodern being; he is not genuine. Because he has created a persona for himself through his consumerism, he is a capitalist. 


Word Count: 346
Works Cited:
LionsGates Films. "American Psycho -2. "Morning Routine". Christian Bale. 9 May 2009. YouTube. 19 April 2011. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46-WNPlCYsg


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