“Killing Child at Zoo” is an excerpt from the novel American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. 

The excerpt follows a traditional, chronological plot structure. The text presents Patrick Bateman and focuses on his perception of the world around him and on the murder he commits.

The characters include Patrick Bateman, as the main character, as well as a boy, his mother, and other characters that Patrick notices and interacts with at the zoo. These characters’ function is mainly symbolic, as Patrick’s interactions with them shows off his disturbing personality.

The events take place in New York City, at the zoo in Central Park. The social setting explores aspects related to personality disorders, societal issues such as prejudices and appearance, and the lifestyle of young urban professionals at the end of the 1980s.

The events are described by Patrick Bateman as a first-person narrator who shares his thoughts and feelings with the readers. Patrick’s descriptions of his surroundings convey his personality and state of mind. 

The language used by the narrator is descriptive and there is little dialogue in the story. The narration highlights Patrick’s emotional distance from other people.

You can read a more detailed analysis in the following pages.

Short story analysis

I denne vejledning får du Studienets hjælp til at analysere noveller (short stories) i engelsk.