“Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” was originally from a 250 word photo-caption job which grew to a novel-length feature story by Hunter S. Thompson. The two-part story was published in Rolling Stone magazine on November 11, 1971. Thompson approached his work in a ghastly manner, often creating a negative criticism from its readers.
The story moved along with Raoul Duke, a journalist, and his attorney Dr. Gonzo as they explore the great American Dream in a discriminating and hypocritical society. It was based on the author’s own account of his self-discovery in a drug-crazed state along with his Mexican lawyer friend Atty. Oscar Zeta Acosta.
Raoul, like any other journalists, dreamt of getting the most controversial story there is. When given the opportunity to cover the Mint 400 motorcycle race, he never hesitated and went on the trip. Unfortunately, Duke and Gonzo engaged themselves in an adventure of a lifetime They had all sorts of uppers and downers all packed with them during the entire trip to keep them awake. Somehow, things went berserk. Both find themselves abandoning work and engaging in disparaging experiences.
For men of their stature, it is not surprising that despite the volume of addictive drugs and liquors in their possession, there were never a doubt to any man in uniform that they were clean.
In Vegas, sins lurk the city. The only thing to be feared of is getting caught. It is disgusting, however, that it showcased the ugly truth of the American Dream. It highlighted that crimes were for those with fame, power and fortune.
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A close reading of the plot of the story will reveal that it is not a typical novel which follows the stage of conflict and then a resolution of the conflict. Instead, it chronicles the adventures of Duke as he and his companions enter into casinos and hotel rooms consuming large amounts of drugs every time.
The search for the American Dream is emphasized in the novel. However, Duke’s vision of American Dream is different from the rest of us. For him, the American Dream is the voluntary submission to the temptations of drugs and alcohol. It is about the pursuit of drugs, alcohol, sex, violence and commercialism.
The author might not be refined in using words to depict his messages but as it captures more and more readers, liberalism have become more acceptable. It clearly showed that not only those gifted with literary arts have the capacity to attract and influence. Loose and open words are sometimes enough to get your message across.