Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas Essay

, Research Paper

Finding the American Dream in Sin City:

What I got out of Fear and Loathing

Where do I start ? This book left me with so many questions and so many


to think about. Was this journey real? Was Hunter S. Thompson drawing off

real life

experinces to create this strange and insightful journey? If this was stricly

a fictional story

this is obivoiusly written by a man who had alot of experince with drugs and

there effects.

I don not want to focus on the drugs because I think there is more to this

book and if you

just focus and the outlandish number of drugs ingested by Raoul Duke and his


you will miss it. The book bills itself as "A savage journey to the

heart of the American

Dream." That is exactly what it is. We see america through a man who

seems to have

seen what America could have been only to see it come crashing down to the


realties of what it is. He was not alone in this feeling he makes it clear

when he remarks

that Nixons term marked the popularuty of downers. The whole country was in a


mood it seemed that everything had failed and the people that were left after

the smoke of

the sixties cleared felt dislousined and out of place like Raoul Duke. The

only feeling he

had left to cling on from this time was the drugs and even the highs didn’t

seem the same.

Take for example when he was describing being in San Francisco during the

Acid Wave

how carefree and innoceent his high nights seemed compare this with the


parnonia that plagued him throughout his five day romp through Vegas. His

highs along

with america had lost a sense of innocence All that was left was a feeling of

fear and


I also belive that the choice of Las Vegas as the hunting ground for the


Dream was extremely important. I think that for many Vegas especially circa


embobied all that was right and very wrong with American Culture. The tacky

glitz of the

strip, out of work entertainers pefroming for middle americans in the

twilight of their life

gambling away penisons and savings and two bit gamblers hoping that they to


strike it rich and become geniune rags to riches story. Vegas with its lure

of the instant

Horatio Alger story seems to me to repersent the Amercian Dream over last

half century

and I think Hunter S. Thompson saw this too. Then there was the Mint 400 and

the drug

confrence both I think were used as vehicles to see American culture from


spectrums. There was the racers and fans for the Mint 400 a rough and tumble


some would call them rednecks, bikers or rebels. These were the people who

seemed to

be living the American Dream on their own terms. On the opposite there was


attending the drug convention a cross section of middle american law


people. To these people a free trip to vegas was the vaction they and the

misses had been

waiting for. They seemed so out of place in the glitzy lights and fancy

casinos but in a

sense I feel they fit right in. They were the target market for vegas. Rich

people and hip

young Americans don’t travel hundreds of miles to see Tom Jones do medleys

and eat bad

buffet food. To me the convention attendees, Mint 400 fans, casino vistors

and Raoul

Duke all resprsented diffrent aspects of one idea, The American Dream. Rauol

and his

attorney had at one time found there American Dream and had lost it along


thousands of others who thought the sixties really would mean a change for

the better.

The Mint folks had found theirs and as mindless and backwoodish as it might

seem to

many it fit them and I don’t think they gave a damn what anyone thought. The


people they represented the masses grinding it out everyday 9 to 5 living the

so called

"Honest American Way" oblivous to the way thing we

re beyond their own front lawns.



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