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Word Count: 1,388
The American economy of the 1980s is commonly associated with excessive economic growth and prosperity However the horrific consequences and underlying social problems associated with this growth are contrasted in Marry Harrons film American Psycho The film equates the excessive consumer culture of the yuppie society to the sadistic evil desires of a serial killer The protagonist and monster Patrick Batemans split personality characterizes this comparison The film builds heavily on the themes of social conformity Freudian Psychoanalysis and the reality of the American dream to portray the underlying social problems of the yuppie society The film is able to convey these themes through the gothic visual and cinematic techniques as well as employing the point of view narrative The yuppie society of the 1980s stressed the importance of social conformity in order for acceptance However the amoral culture of this social class implies that one must be amoral to conform Thus in order for Patrick Bateman to be accepted he must do whatever it takes in order to achieve high social status The extent at which Bateman is wiling to go appears in the dinner and subsequent murder scene of Paul Allen who is Batemans archrival The dinner scene begins with Allen and Bateman going out to dinner The idea of going out to dinner is repeated multiple times within movie suggesting that it symbolizes status symbol The scene immediately begins with Allen and Bateman competing with one another of status symbol For example Allen begins the conversation by sarcastically saying to Bateman This is really a beehive of uh activity Halberstam This place is hot very hot Batemann responds with Listen the mud soup and the charcoal arugal are outrageous here There are two noteworthy ideas conveyed in this initial conversation The first is that Allens sarcasm about the emptiness of the restraunt implies that the restraunt is a symbol of status Thus Allen is asserting himself to be of higher status
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