Sociopaths in Literature

Sociopath – A person with a psychopathic personality whose behaviour is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.

Sociopathic personality traits include – superficial charm, glibness, manipulative behaviour, lack of remorse, grandiose sense of self, lack of realistic life planning, shallow emotions, lack of remorse, lack of empathy, incapacity for love, promiscuous sexual habits and/or parasitic behaviours.

My second book, Necropolis (release date April 24th) is a humorous work of dark fiction about a sociopath, who works for the Burials and Cemeteries department in his local council.  His name is Dyson.  Dyson has many of the characteristics associated with sociopathic personality types.

Sociopaths have long fascinated us.  One of the reasons for this is that we wonder what we could accomplish if we were not burdened by that complex obstacle that is a conscience.

There are numerous examples of sociopathic type personalities in literature.  These include in chronological order:

The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli (We, the reader are urged to be sociopathic)

Othello by Shakespeare (Iago)

Macbeth by Shakespeare (Macbeth)

Persuasion by Jane Austen (Mr. Elliot)

Vanity Fair by William Thackeray (Becky Sharp)

East of Eden by John Steinbeck (Cathy)

A number of influential books have had sociopathic protagonists.  These include:

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess (Alex)

The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson (Lou) [Click on link to read my review]

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis (Patrick Bateman) [Click on link to read my review]

Necropolis is a darkly humorous addition to the sociopath genre.

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