||This thesis analyzes the metamorphosis of schizophrenia presented in the movies, Fight Club and American Psycho, through the violence they employ as a problematic route back to subjectivity in a postmodern consumer culture.
Accordingly, chapter one provides a detailed interpretation of the cinematic composition of images with the cultural background that helps explore the attitude shown in both films toward a consumer society, and how the protagonists’ interactions with the consumerist social lieu develop into violence in schizophrenia. I will give an analytical overview of the American social phenomena during the 1980s and the 1990s to locate issues like yuppie culture and globalization within the films’ context, to see how the commodification of all social and personal relations can create psychic-polarized characters like Bateman and Tyler. The second chapter defines the difference between the psychoanalytic schizophrenia and the schizophrenia depicted in both films. Fredric Jameson’s idea of postmodern identity and Deleuzian concept of schizophrenia will help me elucidate the similarity between schizophrenia and capitalist consumerism, and further develop my argument on the schizophrenic state of Bateman and Jack/Tyler, which I term it as “the metamorphosis of schizophrenia”. Chapter three offers an exposition of body symbols and interpretations of violence in American Psycho and Fight Club to explore their parallels and differences in their attitude toward the consumerist capitalism through Lacan’s idea of aggressivity in mirror stage and Kristeva’s conception of abjection. Both of their theories support my idea that the metamorphosis of schizophrenia is the logical consequence of social violence within the system of capitalism. Lastly, the conclusion to my thesis is a recapitulation of how the explicit and implicit violence underpins capitalism and metamorphoses schizophrenia, and how the schizophrenic sensibilities in a consumer society offer a critique to the refusal and acceptance of capitalism.