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There are several examples of formatting contributing to the themes in .
may be surface level, the novel’s true meanings can be analyzed through its use of alternate grammar.
These usages are primarily formatting and repetition.
At a glance, this could be seen as a typographical mistake, but because of Ellis’ extensive use of alternate grammar it is surely not one.
The literal split in Bateman’s name parallels the dual nature of his personality and the two clear interpretations of the novel: Patrick Bateman as a mentally disturbed man, or Patrick Bateman as a privileged serial killer.
This style mimics the frenzied and unorganized nature of Bateman’s anxiety attack.
Another interesting departure from the novel’s formatting of chapter titles is the chapter that begins on page 343.The most comical and poignant example of this technique is found on page 360.The chapter is titled, “In Bed with Courtney,” and its first sentence is, “I’m in Courtney’s bed.”However, an exception to this can be found on page 148.In fiction italics are traditionally used to show a speaker placing emphasis on certain words in their dialogue.However, Bateman puts emphasis on the first half of his first name.In this same scene Bateman explains, for no apparent reason, why he is the way he is: Well, though I know I should have done that instead of not doing it, I’m twenty-seven for Christ sakes and this is, uh, how life presents itself in a bar or in a club in New York, maybe anywhere, at the end of the century and how people, you know, me, behave, and this is what being Patrick means to me, I guess, so well, yup, uh…(Ellis 399)In this quote, Bateman speaks about his identity.Though he does not explicitly say anything about himself, an explanation can be extracted from the use of italics.So, I wrote a book that is all surface action: no narrative, no characters to latch onto, flat, endlessly repetitive.I used comedy to get at the absolute banality of the violence of a perverse decade. But that is how, as a writer, I took in those years.(Ellis 349)Though this sentence encompasses the entire chapter, it is broken up by ellipses.It can be assumed that Ellis chose to do this to make the process of reading this chapter easier and to display an absence of mind for the narrator.