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Unreliable narration in Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho and Jeff Lindsay's Darkly Dreaming Dexter
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Language, Literature and Intercultural Studies.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Opålitligt berättande i Bret Easton Ellis American Psycho och Jeff Lindsays Darkly Dreaming Dexter : (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

This essay focuses on the character Patrick Bateman in American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis and his unreliability as a narrator and compares it to the unreliable narration of the character Dexter Morgan in Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay. These characters' respective unreliability is analyzed from the perspective of six types of unreliability suggested by James Phelan and Mary Patricia Martin: misreporting, misreading, misregarding, underreporting, underreading and underregarding. The result of the analysis is that while Patrick shows proof of being an unreliable narrator with respect to each one of the six types except underreporting and underregarding, Dexter can be connected to three of them (misreading, underreading and underregarding). Even if this might seem like an insignificant difference, the amount and the clarity in the examples of unreliability adhering to Patrick suggests that he is a much more unreliable narrator than Dexter is. This result indicates that characters can be at opposing ends of a spectrum of unreliability, on which Patrick according to this analysis is placed at the highly unreliable end of the spectrum and Dexter somewhere at the low end.

Abstract [sv]

Denna uppsats fokuserar på karaktären Patrick Bateman i American Psycho skriven av Bret Easton Ellis, med tanke på denna karaktärs opålitlighet som berättare. Detta jämförs med karaktären Dexter Morgan från Darkly Dreaming Dexter skriven av Jeff Lindsay och denna karaktärs opålitlighet som berättare. Detta opålitliga berättande analyseras utifrån en modell som består av sex kategorier vilka James Phelan och Mary Patricia Martin har formulerat. Dessa kategorier kallas: ”misreporting”, ”misreading”, ”misregarding”, ”underreporting”, ”underreading” och ”underregarding”. Resultatet av analysen visar på att Patricks berättande kan placeras in i fyra av dessa kategorier (”misreporting”, ”misreading”, ”misregarding” och ”underreading”). Detta i jämförelse med Dexters berättande som kan placeras in i tre av dem (”misreading”, ”underreading” och ”underregarding”). Även fast denna skillnad kan verka obetydlig är det ändå så att de exampel på opålitlighet som Patrick visar upp står att finna i fler och tydligare exempel än hos Dexter vilket innebär att Patrick kan ses som en mer opålitlig berättare än Dexter. Resultatet av analysen indikerar att olika karaktärers berättande kan återfinnas i olika ändar av ett opålitlighetsspektrum. På detta spektrum kan Patrick då placeras in som en mer opålitlig berättare än Dexter som hamnar i den mer pålitliga delen av spektrumet.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 16 p.
Keyword [en]
unreliable narration, Patrick Bateman, Dexter Morgan
National Category
Languages and Literature
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-34929OAI: diva2:781673
Subject / course
Available from: 2015-01-23 Created: 2015-01-18 Last updated: 2015-01-23Bibliographically approved

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