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American Psycho’s Killer Gaze

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  1. Introduction
  2. Bateman personification of three main qualities
  3. the tone of Bateman's speech
  4. Yvonne Tasker in Spectacular Bodies
  5. Conclusion
  6. Works cited

Jacques Lacan's description of the Other is that which gazes on you or exerts power on you, yet does not truly exist; the Other is an imagined gaze that is constantly looking over you (Willemen, 216). In the film American Psycho (2000), screenwriter and director Mary Harron personifies the Lacanian Other with serial-killer Patrick Bateman. The Bateman character is an embodiment of the Other in that he is represented as a dead eye that continuously emits the intradiegetic Lacanian gaze (in various forms) on everyone around him.

[...] about than Sri Lanka. We have to end Apartheid and slow down the nuclear arms race, stop terrorism and world hunger, provide food and shelter for the homeless, and oppose racial discrimination and promote Civil Rights while also promoting equal rights for women . we have to promote social concern and less materialization in young people. (American Psycho) But the tone of Bateman's speech sounds indifferent, and to the viewer and Bateman's friends it is an ironic lecture, since Bateman?an investment banker by trade?exemplifies materialization. [...]


[...] In turn, this look returns a guilty gaze on Bateman, who is perhaps shamed or angered by his identification with the ideal ego. Thus, as an extreme response Bateman murders Paul Allen and not only gains control of him in doing so but also takes Mulvey's theory one step further by actually assuming Paul Allen's identity and living in his apartment. There is a theme of mistaken identity throughout American Psycho that supports the argument that Bateman does not really exist in the narrative. [...]

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