American Psycho: Analysis of Novel and Movie Production Essay

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American Psycho: Analysis of Novel and Movie Production

American Psycho has been recognized as a brilliant thriller of its time and can legitimately be labeled a scandalous novel. The novel was published in 1991 by the daring author Bret Easton Ellis and was later adapted into a movie production in 2000 by the director Mary Harron. The novel endured nasty criticism to the point of rousing riots and the boycott of the publishing company, Simon & Schuster; who later dropped the publication of the book, due to the negative publicity. Bret Easton Ellis’ novel was convicted of national censorship, and remains censored in select countries. The disapproval of Ellis’ novel was based on the graphic sequences of sexual violence and the
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Mary Harron had to establish her comical direction and remain consistent throughout the tone of the movie production. Director Mary Harron also developed symbolism differently in the film production, which is the major difference between the two versions of American Psycho. Symbolism is a critical aspect in Bret Easton Ellis’ novel and it seems to become lost in Harron’s version of the suspenseful story. Ellis carefully develops the symbolism throughout the story. The thriller consists of a subtle symbolism that hangs in the distance throughout the novel but then it concretely establishes its existence with the final sentence of the story. The overall symbolism in Ellis’ American Psycho is how the selfish Patrick Bateman, as if not enough, entirely used his insanity as an escape from reality due to the lack of being superior amongst his peers. He balanced these weaknesses in reality by becoming crudely overbearing and controlling in the midst of insanity. Bateman lost self-control and did not bother to regain this attribute, “There is no real me. I am simply not there” (Ellis 313). In Harron’s version of American Psycho there is no dire need felt by Bateman to escape his consciousness and loose himself in his attempt at insanity. This evident change affects the viewers’ response and looses a