American Psycho And The Grapes Of Wrath English Literature Essay

The beginning of Bret Easton Elliss American Psycho draws us easy into the apparently ordinary life of Patrick Bateman, a successful, fine-looking intelligent, Wall-Street bargainer who enjoys recreational past-times such as, discoursing what to have on, passing clip with his girlfriend Evelyn and one of his fellow bargainers ‘ girlfriend, Courtney. Aside from this he besides enjoys killing people. This gives us a ‘head-on hit with America ‘s greatest dream – and its worst nightmare- … .. a universe we all know and recognise but one we do non wish to face. ‘John Steinbeck ‘s ‘The Grapes of Wrath ‘ sets a scene typical of that of the rural parts of the U.S during the Great Depression ( 1930 ‘s ) ‘Men stood by their fencings and looked at the destroyed maize, drying fast now, merely a small green demoing through the movie of dust ‘ ( pg 5 ) We follow the Joad household who are forced to seek manual labor as their farming area is repossessed by the province after the great dustbowl destroys it. The household ‘s ‘American Dream ‘ is to populate peacefully together gaining adequate money to last the depression.

During the 1980 ‘s in the metropolis, America was the topographic point to accomplish the ‘perfect life ‘ or the ‘American Dream ‘ , which included holding a well paid occupation, traveling out with friends and basking life nevertheless one proverb tantrum. Bret Easton Ellis nevertheless describes to us what those people who live the dream think and experience towards the remainder of society. ‘I ‘m resourceful… . I ‘m originative, I ‘m immature, unscrupulous, extremely motivated, extremely skilled… . society can non afford to lose me. ‘ The hubris of Tim Price, one of Patrick Bateman ‘s co-workers, is described in the gap lines of ‘American Psycho ‘ , which is amplified by anaphora, of I, and asyndeton. This introduces us to the universe of the rich and chesty who seem disdainful and emotionless. This besides parallels with Tom Buchanan in ‘The Great Gatsby ‘ as ‘just because I ‘m stronger and more of a adult male than you are. ‘ ( pg 12 ) Similarly Tom besides lives in a universe, where merely people with money affair. However unlike Ellis, Fitzgerald does non utilize the same harsh, harsh linguistic communication ‘I intend the fact remains that no-one gives a crap about their work, ‘ Ellis can associate to the positions of the upper category as he himself lived in a rich Californian family. Ellis had a confrontational relationship with his male parent who was allegedly opprobrious towards him, and so his male parent became the footing of Bateman in ‘American Psycho ‘ . In contrast Steinbeck came from a middle-class, agricultural household, and was besides raised in California, but in the more rural parts. In the summer he used to assist out at nearby spreads where he learnt the ‘harsher facets of migratory life and the darker side of human nature ‘[ 2 ]. The ‘American Dream ‘ was besides known to those who lived outside the metropolis in the rural countries of America during the 1920 ‘s, after America had helped to win the First World War for the Allies. During this clip there was a roar in the American economic system that gave more people an chance to accomplish the ‘American Dream ‘ . Even so, the roar was ephemeral as the Wall-Street clang, in 1929 caused the economic system to prostration. At the same clip a dust bowl hit American provinces such as Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma.

‘Listen to the motor. Listen to the wheels. Listen with your ears and with your custodies on the guidance wheel ; listen with the thenar of your manus on the gear-shift lever ; listen with your pess on the floor boards. Listen to the thumping old bus with all your senses, for a alteration of tone, a fluctuation of beat ‘

Steinbeck uses repeat and caesura to make a surreal atmosphere within the linguistic communication to underscore the despairing times of the Dust Bowl epoch. From these descriptions, we are given a profound battle of the way that the Joad household takes. Both catastrophes cause the ‘American Dream ‘ to be viewed otherwise by all categories of people in America. After the dust bowl nevertheless, the land is taken over by the province ‘bank ‘ , that adds to the agony of the husbandmans and land proprietors. This undermined their assurance and their regard towards the authorities. ‘The Fe guard spot into the house-corner, crumbled the wall, and wrenched the small house from its foundations… . the tractor cut a consecutive line on ‘ . ( pg 41 ) Critically, ‘The Grapes of Wrath ‘ was commended by most for its sympathy towards brotherhoods, even so, it ab initio caused ‘political contention due to its earful of agriculture and the governmental system that contributed to the Dust Bowl quandary. ‘[ 3 ]The working category characters including the Joad household feel disdainful towards the authorities who are capitalist interlopers of the land. Similarly Tennessee Williams ‘ ‘A Streetcar Named Desire ‘ , corresponds with the thought of an interloper of socially ‘higher category ‘ , Blanche, come ining a on the job category society and interrupting it, thereby upsetting Stella and Stanley ‘s dream of a household.

Sing both novels through a Marxist lens besides presents to us how the supporters live their life and position the universe. Bateman has to be regarded as a corrupted consumer who feeds his blood lecherousness by killing the ‘genetic lower class ‘ of the novel such as the mendicants and cocottes whilst concealing behind a drape of money. However it is the ‘proletariats ‘ or workers, who in ‘American Psycho ‘ are the cab drivers, cleaners and servers that see him for what he truly is. Bateman ‘s ‘American Dream ‘ , gaining big amounts of money and disbursement it on stuff goods and penalizing the ‘underclass ‘ , deteriorates towards the terminal of the novel, which is shown as a cab driver, who recognises him from witnessing Bateman killing a fellow cab driver, confronts him and removes all of his ‘material goods ‘ from him, ‘ ” The ticker ” . I unhook the Rolex and, skiding it off my carpus, manus it to him ‘ . Bateman outputs to the cab driver which demonstrates an utmost displacement in power kineticss where it is the ‘workers ‘ that are in control. It is besides of import to detect during this confrontation that Bateman threatens the cab driver, ‘you ‘re a dead adult male Abdullah ‘ to which the taxidriver answers ‘ Yeah? and you ‘re a yuppie scumbag. Which is worse? ‘ this suggests that the ‘American Dream ‘ in the eyes of Patrick Bateman is much worse than deceasing as a hapless and honorable adult male. Steinbeck nevertheless, conveys to us how those in power are doing the hapless and weak suffer.

‘The great companies did non cognize that the line between hungriness and choler is a thin line. And money that might of gone to rewards went to gas, for guns, for agents and undercover agents, for black books and boring. On the main roads the people moved like emmets and searched for work, for nutrient. And the choler began to ferment ‘ .

The usage of asyndeton to underscore the deficiency of money being given to the workers, and the animalistic imagination of ‘people moved like emmets ‘ efficaciously describes how Steinbeck feels towards the working category and how their ‘Dream ‘ is to be able to feed their households and themselves and lasting for the following twenty-four hours, which contrasts to designer apparels and drugs in ‘American Psycho ‘ . The hatred towards the capitalists which include the ‘great ‘ companies and the authorities, is due to the unjust intervention of the workers who can non accomplish their ‘Dream ‘ . From a Marxist point of position ‘The Grapes of Wrath ‘ demonstrates the greed and selfishness of the authorities who do non look to care for the people they are working, ‘A individual is exploited if he or she performs more labour than necessary to bring forth the goods that he consumes ; likewise, a individual is an user if he or she performs less labour than is necessary to bring forth the goods that he consumes ‘ .[ 4 ]Clearly, a point has been reached in which the ‘producers ‘ feel that it is clip to move and derive back their places and land that have been stolen. ‘I do n’t take to hunger to decease before I kill the adult male that ‘s hungering me. ‘ ‘The Grapes of Wrath ‘ besides emulates the ill will of the environment and how households like the Joad ‘s suffered. ‘the air and the sky darkened and through them the Sun shone redly, and at that place was a natural sting in the air ‘ . ( pg 4 ) Steinbeck efficaciously uses color imagination and rough sounding metaphors to depict the scene, where ‘raw biting ‘ and the ruddy Sun underscore the hurting and agony of the people.

As mentioned before the ‘American Dream ‘ is an equivocal ideal, that can non hold a individual definition and spans across many countries of the human emotions such as greed and love. Womans are seen by the rich in ‘American Psycho ‘ as playthings or trade goods where all adult females with ‘good personalities who are smart or possibly amusing or center intelligent or talented… .are ugly, and this is because they have to do up for how unattractive they are. ‘ This evidently shows adult females are non seen for who they are or what values they possess but how attractive they are and how easy they can be exploited. However the force towards adult females in ‘American Psycho ‘ , which is highly in writing, was the Centre of much contention particularly with feminist critics such as Gloria Steinem as they believed this force towards adult females encourages misogynism. I disagree with Steinem as I believe Ellis is merely saying his positions on the world of an anti-feminist, and modern-day imposter civilization. ‘American Psycho ‘ does non excuse the in writing and sexually violent actions of Patrick Bateman but must be seen as a hyperbolic, allegorical look of the portion of society that accept this behavior. Ellis himself believes that the fresh ‘to be a sarcasm of a certain strand of American society, male and consumerist, which leads people to slay adult females, literally or figuratively ‘[ 5 ]. The thought that adult females are a socially ‘lower ‘ than work forces is besides apparently paralleled in ‘The Great Gatsby ‘ . Daisy, in the gap chapter references her girl, ‘I hope she ‘ll be a sap… a beautiful small sap. ‘ and when the nurse told her it was a miss she ‘turned [ her ] caput and wept ‘ , which suggests that misss might non hold the same ‘privileges ‘ as male childs. Tom besides patrionises Daisy ‘The problem is that sometimes she gets foolish thoughts in her caput and does n’t cognize what she ‘s making ‘ , once more demoing how low adult females are in the societal hierarchy, and possibly touching to adult females moving like a kid or pet.

The insect imagination used in ‘The Grapes of Wrath ‘ is evidently used to show the agony of the husbandmans at this clip. During the 2nd chapter Steinbeck uses insects to repeat the eighth of the ‘Ten Plagues of Egypt ‘ in the Book of Exodus. This pestilence caused a drove of locusts to destruct all the Egyptians ‘ harvests. The harvests in America where besides destroyed by insects in July 1931, ‘The July 1931 drove was said to be so thick that it blocked out the Sun and one could shovel the grasshoppers with a scoop. Cornstalks were eaten to the land and Fieldss left wholly au naturel. ‘[ 6 ], we besides notice how easy it is for worlds to kill insects. This is significantly seen when Tom hitches a drive with a truck driver, and a grasshopper somersault onto the instrument panel, ‘Joad reached frontward and crushed its difficult skull-like caput with his fingers, and he allow it into the air current watercourse out the window ‘ ( pg 14 ) . When Tom crushes the grasshopper, we begin to see a analogue between worlds intervention of insects and the undue manner landholders treat tenant husbandmans.

Throughout ‘The Grapes of Wrath ‘ male laterality seems to be decreasing. When the dustbowl strikes it effects everyone, but significantly the work forces are the 1s who are mentioned and suffer. ‘Quote ‘ . However the normally quiet and female characters seem like the strongest characters of the novel, particularly Ma as she leads the household and inspires hope in them, hope that they will happen their dream.

‘Why Tom, us people will travel on livin ‘ when all them people is goneaˆ¦ . Why Tom, we ‘re the people that live. They ai n’t gon na pass over us outaˆ¦ We ‘re the people, we go on. ‘

Another character who at first seems quiet and detached from most treatments is Al ‘This was Al ‘s first engagement in the conference. Always he had stood behind with the adult females before. ‘ Importantly after Al ‘s sentiment, the work forces are shown to be losing power and the one time casual characters, are now get downing to set up authorization at this despairing clip ‘Grampa was still the titular caput. But now he no longer ruled ‘ . Ma is the greatest support for the household and Steinbeck nowadayss this by depicting her as ‘Her hazel eyes seemed to hold experienced all possible calamity and to hold mounted hurting and agony like stairss into a high composure and ace human understanding ‘ ( pg 100 ) . It is non frequently that a female figure takes the topographic point of a male leader, in this case Ma takes Pa ‘s topographic point and tells him angrily, “ You ai n’t got the right to acquire discouraged. This here household ‘s goin ‘ under. You merely ai n’t got the right. ” ( page 451 ) . Therefore Ma Joad becomes the materfamilias of the household. Ma is the voice of bravery, wisdom and comfort and it is merely because of this, that the Joad household eventually make their ‘American Dream ‘ .

From the beginning of ‘American Psycho ‘ , Ellis portrays Patrick Bateman as a desensitised, mercenary, vain, liquidator. However as we progress through the fresh Bateman seems an, undependable storyteller. It is important to detect that the lines at the terminal of many of the chapters leave us as the reader to conceive of what Bateman does for the remainder of the twenty-four hours or dark. The chief intimation that Bateman is undependable is demonstrated towards the terminal of the novel when he describes his flight from the constabulary, which seems ‘movie-like ‘ and unrealistic. The movie version shows this fantastical scene as he, obeys a hard currency machine that tells him to ‘feed [ it ] a cat ‘ , he blows up two constabularies autos with a six-gun and fells from a chopper that circles his office. Bateman eventually phones his attorney, Harold, and confesses to all the slayings and offenses he has committed with hyperbole and mirth

‘I killed another miss with a chain saw, I had to, she about got off… I guess I ‘ve killed possibly 20 people, possibly 40… I even, um I ate some of their encephalons, and I tried to cook a small. ‘

Ellis uses exaggeration and short sentences in Bateman ‘s confession is used for amusing consequence and indicates that he has lost his ain ‘sanity ‘ . This correlates with the old actions that take topographic point within the chapter. However his attorney tells him the following twenty-four hours that it is non possible that Bateman killed his co-worker Paul Owen as he, Harold, ‘just had dinner with [ him ] in London ‘ , appears to demo that everything was in Patrick ‘s caput. The technique of utilizing an undependable storyteller is besides used by Fitzgerald in ‘The Great Gatsby ‘ . Nick, the storyteller of the novel, is non the supporter but a secondary character who recounts his meetings with Gatsby and his cousin Daisy. Nick relies on many outside beginnings to cast visible radiation on the relationships or actions of a peculiar individual or group and is non hesitating to cite others. For illustration he quotes Jordan Baker ( chap.4 p80 ) . The job is that she is said to be a liar soA how prejudice or undependable is she. Nick besides reconstructs state of affairss that are a montage of peoples ‘ ideas and positions. Using an undependable storyteller in ‘The Great Gatsby ‘ conveys a sense of enigma around Gatsby who is still indiscernible and unfathomable. Similarly Bateman, the undependable storyteller, in ‘American Psycho ‘ besides leaves us inquiring and theorizing about the slayings he committed. The ‘American Dream ‘ may besides be seen as an ideal that is besides equivocal and varies amongst categories and personalities.

Steinbeck ‘s positions and sentiments are evident and are expressed multiple times in ‘The Grapes of Wrath ‘ . He creates a household on the brink of losing all hope, and ever places the province responsible for the quandary of the Joad ‘s and many others who were affected in the same manner. There is ne’er one type of storyteller in ‘The Grapes of Wrath ‘ . When we are reading about the Joad ‘s and their state of affairs, the storyteller is, all-knowing and all-seeing. Steinbeck allows us to see the heads of each character, cognizing their immediate ideas and frights. However, Between the chapters about the Joad ‘s, are chapters that describe the history of the Dust Bowl and of the in-migration in California. From clip to clip the storyteller will turn to us, the reader as ‘you. ‘ For illustration “ For the quality of having freezings you forever into ‘I, ‘ and cuts you off everlastingly from the ‘we ” ( pg158 ) . We hear the voice of the auto salesman, ‘All right, Joe. You soften ’em up an ‘ shoot ’em in here. I ‘ll shut ’em, I ‘ll cover ’em or I ‘ll kill ’em. Do n’t direct in no rotter. I want trades ‘ ( pg66 ) . By utilizing multiple storytellers Steinbeck allows us to link with the migratory workers that were fighting to happen occupations during the late thirtiess. Steinbeck voices his sentiments in the chapters that the Joad ‘s do non have.

‘If you who own the things people must hold could understand this, you might continue yourself. If you could divide causes from consequences, if you could cognize that Paine, Marx, Jefferson, Lenin, were consequences, non causes, you might last. But that you can non cognize. ‘

In contrast to ‘American Psycho ‘ the hatred shown by Steinbeck is against the ‘bank monsters ‘ and capitalists, whereas Bateman ‘s hatred is towards the homeless and hapless. In this minute, Steinbeck ‘s emotional nature emerges as he challenges an supervising power, to alter the manner that workers are treated and manipulated, to make a cosmopolitan ‘American Dream ‘ that is approachable by anyone no affair what colour or category they are. Martin Luther King Jr. besides believed that all people should hold an equal opportunity of being successful, achieving aspirations and populating a free life, ‘Discrimination is a hellhound that gnaws at Negroes in every waking minute of their lives to remind them that the prevarication of their lower status is accepted as truth in the society ruling them. ‘

‘My hurting is changeless and crisp and I do non trust for a better universe for anyone, in fact I want my hurting to be inflicted on others. I want no 1 to get away, but even after acknowledging this there is no katharsis, my penalty continues to evade me and I gain no deeper cognition of myself ; no new cognition can be extracted from my relation. This confession has meant nil. ‘

The terminal of the movie version of ‘American Psycho ‘ is similar to the stoping of the novel, ‘THIS IS NOT AN EXIT ‘ . Both explain how the life of Patrick Bateman will non alter and alternatively of experiencing compunction or sorrow for the actions he has performed, he still ends with nil ‘internally ‘ , he is merely an empty shell that has money, a occupation and expensive stuff goods but no possible to assist others, no emotions to demo except hatred and choler, Bateman ‘s vision of an ‘American Dream ‘ is decease, upset and devastation, Martin Luther King Jn. provinces that ‘Darkness can non drive out darkness ; merely visible radiation can make that. Hate can non drive out hatred ; merely love can make that. ‘ Sing as Bateman has no room for love his hatred will ne’er be purged from him. In ‘The Grapes of Wrath ‘ , the Joad ‘s face the harshest of environments trusting on each other particularly Ma whose overpowering assurance and wisdom promote them to contend and persist. Steinbeck includes the gruesome inside informations of the narrative to let us to appreciate and recognize the strength and spirit that the Joad ‘s possess to make their dream, their ‘American Dream ‘ , to be able to populate in peace together as a household.