Patrick Bateman in “American Psycho” – A Freudian Analysis Sample

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Patrick Bateman was a immature. white. Hedera helix leagued male who worked on Wall Street in the 1980’s epoch of ego indulgence and philistinism. He was driven to be perfect and to be the best at everything he does no affair what the cost. Material things meant more to Patrick than life itself which was clearly stated in the film. Patrick was vain and ego absorbed individual who treated his organic structure like a temple. He spent his yearss and darks making vigorous exercises. amalgamations and acquisitions on Wall Street. all right dining with beautiful ladies and fulfilling an insatiate and unmanageable lecherousness for anguish and slaying in the “big apple” .

Patrick Bateman was the ultimate consecutive slayer who killed victims from all walks of life such as stateless people. friends. household and colleagues without fright or compunction. He killed for many grounds which included material compulsion. enviousness of colleagues who accomplished more than him. pure hatred for what he deemed to be the weak and hapless people in society and blazing insanity at times. He appeared to bask killing adult females in peculiar including 1 that he seemed truly fond for.

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Throughout the movie. Patrick kills over 20 people. Many times he could non state whether or non the events were existent or merely a portion of a psychotic psychotic belief brought on by his jobs. His character revealed the interior departures on in his head by narrating these ideas throughout the movie. Patrick acknowledged that what he was making was incorrect. He noted that he had been depersonalized and that he had lost the ability to experience compassion for others. but he was unable to understand why ; he was besides unable or unwilling to make anything about it.

Analysis: Psychosexual Phases of Development

Freud would probably state that Patrick Bateman had a normal Oral Stage of psychosexual development because he did non look to hold any of the “symptoms” that would ensue in holding jobs in this country such as smoke. nail biting. gorging or changeless mastication of points. On the contrary. Patrick seemed to hold the exact opposite features of a individual who developed jobs during this phase.

Patrick Bateman had obvious control and power issues. Harmonizing to Freud. this may hold been a consequence of jobs in the Anal Stage of psychosexual personality development ; peculiarly with respects to toilet preparation. There were definite issues sing Patrick environing issues such as anal arrested development ; more specifically. anal memory that resulted in unnatural behaviours in maturity.

Patrick was compulsively clean and antiseptic in his life conditions and in his life. His flat was clean. organized and hone in about every manner. Patrick treated his organic structure like a temple and was ever excessively concerned. or fixated. with any imperfectness that may somebody else may hold seen. He did several hundred abdominal crunches and push ups every twenty-four hours every bit good as exfoliating. moisturizing and rub downing daily to keep the degree of flawlessness that was expected of him. These are all symptoms that can be the consequence of an anal retentive and egotistic personality harmonizing to Freud. The lone contradiction to this would be Patrick Bateman’s evident enjoyment and neglect of doing a atrocious muss when perpetrating many of his flagitious offenses. This type of behaviour does non co-occur with the typical features of a individual with anal memory and a egotistic personality.

Patrick exhibited a kid like euphory when torture and killing adult females in peculiar. Freud might state that this was due to his evident issues with people from the opposite sex. It could be theorized utilizing a Freudian position that Patrick had some unsolved issues in the Phallic Stage of psychosexual development. If Patrick had a hard clip deciding his Oedipus struggle for case. it may explicate why he had such ill will towards adult females in peculiar. Possibly he was rejected from his female parent at an early age. or punished badly by his male parent out of green-eyed monster. Another indicant that Patrick had troubles in the Phallic Stage was his evident egotistic personality. Harmonizing to Freud. this is one of the chief indexs that a individual can hold as a consequence of a phallic arrested development.

Patrick’s scruples evidently did non play a function in his actions because he appeared to experience no compunction or concern afterwards – merely contentment and a sense of restlessness for the following clip that he could kill once more. Why Patrick lacked this scruples is anyone’s conjecture. but Freud might state that it could be traced back to the get downing phases of personality development. peculiarly at the Latency Stage when ethical motives and values are developed. There seemed to be nil in Patrick’s caput that talked sense or ground into him to forestall his unconscious impulses from lifting to the surface perchance because he had non learned them during the Latency Stage of development.

Freud might state that Patrick hit a barrier during this phase of development due to his ain ego described “depersonalization” and failure to experience compassion or empathy for others ( Harron. 2000 ) . Patrick’s values and beliefs all seemed to revolve around philistinism. flawlessness. wealth. power and greed which can be developed at this phase and can supply jobs in maturity if the values and ethical motives are non developed at this clip. The film is based on a character from the 1980’s when many people were believing individualistically and were really mercenary in nature ( Putman. 2000 ) . Possibly Patrick was merely a merchandise of his environment or possibly it was a combination of a development job and his environment ; nature versus raising.

Analysis: Id. Ego and Superego

Freud would probably state that Patrick Bateman had jobs related to command over his internal crude impulses or his “Id” . It could be said that Patrick’s “Id” was exerting power over his Ego and Superego. making an unnatural instability between the three. Possibly the Superego joined forces with the “Id” and convinced it that fulfilling Patrick’s libido and other crude impulses was normal and acceptable. Patrick’s arrested development on desiring to be the best in everything he did could be a consequence of events that happened in the early phases of personality development. perchance doing his “Id” to go so powerful that his Ego. Superego and scruples all fell to the roadside making a psychopathologic consecutive slayer and go forthing the Ego in a incapacitated place to keep Patrick’s impulses and speak sense into him.

Freud would state that is was the “Id” that gave Patrick all of his energy to prosecute in his day-to-day activities that included an intense. egoistic and egotistic attack to his visual aspect. The “Id” would besides be responsible for the pleasance chief taking Patrick to perpetrate all kinds of aberrant sexualized behaviours towards adult females. carry throughing his libido’s unconscious desires.

It appeared in the movie that Patrick was sing a little sum of moral anxiousness as a consequence of his offenses. Freud would state that his denial defence mechanism allowed him to stamp down or warrant his actions in the subconscious kingdom of his head. At one point in the film Patrick convinces himself that this is all merely a phantasy or a psychotic episode. Freud says that this type of behaviour is frequently used to barricade external events from consciousness doing it easier for person to cover with world.


I think that there are illustrations in this film displayed by the character Patrick Bateman that would fall into classs of Freud’s psychoanalytical and psychodynamic theories. From a psychoanalytical attack. Patrick Bateman displayed marks of unsolved issues that can be traced back to childhood associating to issues such as the Oedipus composite and the Anal. Phallic and Latency phases of his psychosexual development.

From a psychodynamic point of position. Patrick indicated a clear job commanding the “Id” portion of his personality. It seemed to be the portion that took over in about all state of affairss and was responsible for fulfilling all of his natural and crude impulses.

It is improbable that Freud would hold been able to handle Patrick Bateman utilizing talk therapy because it is likely that Patrick was enduring from a psychosis that was brought on by a terrible psychological upset. This psychological upset could be traced back to early development phases. It could be theorized that Patrick’s unmanageable impulses and struggles between his “Id” . Ego and Superego were formed as a consequence of these jobs.


Approximately. com Psychology. ( n. d. ) . Freud’s Psychosexual Stages of Development. Retrieved July 9. 2005 from hypertext transfer protocol: //psychology. about. com/library/weekly/aa111500a. htm

Boeree. G. C. ( 1997 ) . Personality theories: Sigmund Freud. Pennsylvania. USA: Shippensburg University Psychology Department. Retrieved July 9. 2005 from hypertext transfer protocol: //www. ship. edu/~cgboeree/freud. hypertext markup language

Harron. M. ( Director ) . ( 2000 ) . American Psycho [ Motion Picture ] . USA: Lions gate Movies.

Putman. D. ( 2000 ) . American Psycho film reappraisal. USA: All-Reviews. com. Retrieved July 9. 2005 from hypertext transfer protocol: //www. all-reviews. com/videos/american-psycho. htm

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