Abstract Space in Bret Easton Ellis's Less Than Zero

Document Type : Original Article


1 PhD Candidate in English Literature, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran.

2 Associate Professor of Transnational Literature and Drama Studies, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran.



The consumer culture of late capitalism is more than ever associated with the concept of urban space. Prevalent in the late capitalist society is abstract space that homogenizes and flattens out the differences, conflicts and contradictions on the social scene. This process of homogenization acts as a mechanism of control to preserve the current status quo. In Bret Easton Ellis's Less Than Zero, abstract space, by homogenizing and fragmenting the body and lived experience, makes the characters comply with the consumer culture and suppresses the potentials for the difference and the emergence of alternative spaces. In this paper, the role abstract space plays in Ellis's novel is analyzed in the light of Henri Lefebvre's theory of space. The present study argues that abstract space numbs the potentials for difference and heterogeneity in Ellis's novel. Instead, it imposes homogeneity on social relations, pushing the characters to the brink of invisibility and nothingness.


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  • Receive Date: 01 July 2021
  • Revise Date: 08 December 2021
  • Accept Date: 25 December 2021
  • First Publish Date: 22 April 2022