Ban Violent Materials in Literature Research Paper



Books have been banned for numerous reasons; violence, racism, sexual content, and damaging lifestyles being the most prevalent. However, books are also banned if they contain political bias, homosexuality, religious affiliations, and presence of witchcraft which can be seen as overreactions. American Psycho, written by Brett Easton Ellis was banned or restricted for several of these reasons when it was published in 1991, and quickly received backlash for its questionable content. This novel is about a man named Patrick Bateman and his materialistic life and lifestyle. Being a rich businessman in New York, he constantly brags about material things and his looks. He follows a vigorous lifestyle routine and is only ever seen with others who are also wealthy. Throughout the story, Patrick becomes more psychotic and slowly starts to lose himself causing him to take on heavier drugs and alcohol. His mental health starts to worsen which leads him to find comfort in hurting and killing others. The author, Brett Easton Ellis, takes readers through a view of Patrick’s spiralling mental health. 

Due to the novel’s extreme violence towards women, sexual scenes referring to rape, and blatant racism towards black people, American Pyscho should be banned in all stores and libraries to denounce these violent connotations. 

Multiple books have been banned or censored because of extremely violent content that may upset many people. The detailed brutality in this book is constant and uncomfortable to read. The violence described throughout the novel, American Psycho, is most commonly targeted towards women. An example would be when Patrick is torturing two women named Christie and Elizabeth after he returned home from dinner with Christie. Patrick describes to the readers, “I had been dropping lit matches form Le Relais onto her belly and Elizabeth, delirious and probably overdosing on the Ecstasy, had been helping before I turned on her and chewed at one of her nipples until I couldn’t control myself and bit it off.” (Ellis 290). This description is one of many that goes into extreme detail about the violence inflicted towards women by Patrick; thus making it more difficult to read and makes the book advertise this negative connotation to others. The violence in the novel advertises extreme behaviour that should be reprimanded and denounced on a daily basis. Therefore, due to the violent content that the novel contains that is mostly inflicted on women, the book should be banned in all stores and libraries to denounce this negative connotation. 

As well as extreme violence, the novel also contains sexually explicit scenes. Various books are censored everyday for being sexually explicit and containing scenes that are considered too obscene for readers. Brett Ellis’ American Psycho has received backlash for this reason. Throughout Brett Ellis’ novel, there are several sexual scenes that are very detailed, however many of these scenes that his character, Patrick Bateman, describes often refers to sexually assaulting or raping another person. For example, in the middle of the novel Patrick Bateman was out with friends at a famous restaurant when he saw a girl walk towards his table and address her friend who was sitting with him. After trying to introduce himself the woman tells him they have met, and Patrick starts to recognize her from the Kentucky Derby they attended last spring. Patrick then tells the readers, “I remember she screamed when I tried to push my entire arm, gloved and slathered with vaseline, toothpaste, anything I could find, up into her vagina.” (Ellis 207). Rape and sexual assualt are common topics that are used in novels, however the detail that is used throughout the tales make it harder to continue reading. Rape and sexual assault are traumatic situations that should not be bragged about, however Brett Ellis’ character prides himself on the fact that he committed these crimes, therefore meaning that the novel is advertising rape and sexual assault. Consequently, because of the sexually explicit scenes referring to rape, American Psycho should be banned in all stores and libraries to denounce this negative connotation. 

Violence towards women and sexual scenes referring to rape are not the only disturbing matters throughout the novel American Psycho. The book also contains blatant racism most commonly directed at those who are black. An example of this is when Patrick Bateman was alone at a nightclub and had seen a group of people at the end of the bar, he started flirting with the girls who belonged to the group before he noticed that they were with their boyfriends. Their boyfriends were black men and after noticing this, Patrick started to taunt them using stereotypical slang and derogatory slurs. Patrick says, “I walk up to him and exclaim ‘Rasta Man!’ and hold out my hand, anticipating a high-five. But the n****r just stands there.” (Ellis 199). The blatant racism as well as the racist comments are disgusting to read, and shows the constant discrimination that those who are black experience everyday. Currently, society is much more accepting and less discrimination, however books like this are the reason why there is still uncomfortableness between different races. Books and media should be trying to include everybody and promote positivity, acceptance, and equality. This novel is an example of a book that is restraining our society from growing and evolving. Due to the fact that the book American Psycho contains blatant racism towards black people, the novel should be banned in all stores and libraries to denounce this negative connotation.