Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Quotes and Reviews | GridSaver (2023)

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“You have no faith in the essential decency of white man's culture. Jesus, just an hour ago we were sitting there in that stinking baiginio, with broken stones and paralyzed for the weekend, when I got a call from a stranger in New York, telling me to go to Vegas and to hell with the expenses, and then he sends me to some weird office in beverly hills where another complete stranger gives me $300 cash for no reason. . . I tell you my friend, this is the American dream in action! We'd be fools not to ride this weird torpedo all the way."

Raoul Duke remains concerned about the American dream throughoutfear and loathing in las vegas, and periodically suggests that the underlying purpose of his trip is to discover what a contemporary version of the American Dream would look like. This is the first of several instances in which he classifies a particular place or event as "the American dream." Of course, most of these mentions are sarcastic, including this one. Although Duke embraces the freedom and power his career has given him, he also recognizes that capitalism can create strange and surreal events. By situating his comment within "white man culture," Duke also acknowledges his privileged position. Meanwhile, despite his elite profession, Duke's lawyer is mistreated by many of the people he meets on his journey. Duke is sensitive to the challenges facing his friend, and they ultimately inform his broader critique of racism.

“I saw that fight in Seattle: horribly crowded around four seats in the governor's aisle. A very painful experience in every way, a 1960s ending: Tim Leary imprisoned by Eldridge Cleaver in Algeria, Bob Dylan clipping coupons in Greenwich Village, the two Kennedys killed by mutants, Owsley folding napkins on Terminal Island, and finally Cassius. /Ali fell unbelievably off his pedestal for a human burger, a man on the brink of death. Joe Frazier, like Nixon, ultimately prevailed for reasons that people like me refused to understand, at least not out loud."

fear and loathing in las vegaswas published in late 1971, a time when the late 1960s were a source of cultural fascination. Many of the social movements for which the 1960s are famous, including student movements, communes, the nascent drug culture, and the Civil Rights Movement, began to wane toward the end of the decade. Here Duke lists a series of seminal events and figures from the late 1960s, combining them with surreal imagery. This reflects the sense of disorientation many members of the counterculture must have felt when their causes declined or veered off in unexpected directions.

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“No, this is not a good city for psychedelics. Reality itself is very distorted."

The surreal images that pervadefear and loathing in las vegascomes from a variety of sources. Duke sometimes recounts his drug hallucinations in detail, but most of the weirder images in the text are drawn from reality. As it is today, in 1971, Las Vegas was known for its over-the-top tourist attractions and its reputation as a city where visitors could let loose and indulge in forbidden vices. That makes it a fitting setting for a writer like Thompson, who employs dark humor and hyperbole to criticize American culture. For much of the text, Duke uses drugs to escape a tense or frightening environment. In Las Vegas, however, his environment is already so absurd that 'twisting' him through drugs is almost ineffective.

“San Francisco in the mid-1960s was a very special time and place to be a part of. maybe thatmeant something. Maybe not, in the long run... but no explanation, no mixture of words, music or memories can touch that feeling of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and of the world. Whatever that means..."

Starting in 1965, San Francisco became a center of youth counterculture (Trinchard and McCarthy). The city offered several attractions that attracted young people from all over the country. For example, the University of California at Berkeley was the center of the student movement, drug culture thrived in the Haight-Ashbury district, and the arts and music scene was vibrant in the North Beach neighborhood, which was also home to Beat writers. in the 1950s. Thompson lived in San Francisco during this period and credits the creative atmosphere and community of writers there for his early literary success (Brinkley and McDonnell). This passage is one of many in which Duke's experiences and attitudes overlap with those of the author.

“I shook my head and smiled, half seeing the stunned reaction of the crowd of police officers next to me. They were dazed with shock. There they were arguing with all their might for a room they already had.payment for--and suddenly his entire act is sidetracked by a grumpy hobo who looks like he's straight out of a hobo jungle in upper Michigan. And he checks with a handful ofCredit cards!Jesus! What is going on in this world?”

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Thompson portrays Las Vegas as the embodiment of capitalism in its purest form. It is even immune to certain rules of decorum that moderate the influence of capitalism in other parts of the country. For example, in mainstream American culture, police officers have a certain prestige, even though their earnings place them in the middle class. However, money is the only determining factor of prestige and power in Las Vegas. That's why Duke is able to reverse roles and be treated better than the cop, an experience he finds extremely satisfying.

“Even Bloomquist, right at the front of the stage, seemed aware of a distant problem. He stopped talking and looked nervously in the direction of the noise. He probably thought a fight had broken out, perhaps some kind of racial conflict, something he couldn't help himself.

fear and loathing in las vegasIt is first and foremost a travel narrative. However, Thompson finds many opportunities within this framework to criticize various aspects of American culture and politics. Here she briefly interrupts her account of the conference to mock the passive attitude of "squares" like Bloomquist toward pressing social issues. She describes Bloomquist as complacent with the social order. Thompson suggests that people like Bloomquist would rather raise their hands and dismiss social injustices as “[things] that cannot be helped” rather than make an effort to address them.

“In an economy where Tom Jones can earn $75,000 a week for two performances a night at Caesar's, the palace guard is indispensable and they don't care who signs their paychecks. A gold mine like Las Vegas spawns its own army, just like any other gold mine. Contracted muscle tends to build up in quick layers around poles of money/power…and big money, in Vegas, means Power to protect you.”

In this passage, Thompson draws parallels between Las Vegas casinos and the broader institutions of power. He points out that Caesar's Palace hotel and casino are themed after the Roman Empire. Yet the casino's immense wealth and absolute power over its guests evoke Rome in ways that go beyond its décor. Duke explains that in Las Vegas, money is the only priority for both businesses and individuals. That is why money attracts power to protect you, no matter where it comes from. Duke's scathing critique of money and power in Las Vegas was even more scathing in the 1970s, when organized crime still played a large role in the city's economy (Ainlay & Gabaldon).

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“Let me explain it to you, let me briefly summarize it if I can. We were looking for the American Dream and we were told it was somewhere in this area. Well, we're here looking for him, because we were sent here from San Francisco to look for him. That's why they gave us this white Cadillac, they think we can catch up with it..."

Towards the end of his trip to Las Vegas, Duke's joy turns to disappointment when he realizes that he has learned and accomplished very little. Here, he poignantly explains to a waitress that the true purpose of the trip was to find the American dream, but men are just as lost here in Vegas as they are at home. His monologue includes one minor inconsistency: Duke claims that he and his lawyer came from San Francisco, when attentive readers will learn that they actually left Los Angeles. This may be a reference to San Francisco's reputation as the epicenter of the 1960s counterculture. Duke seems to suggest that the counterculture was an attempt to redefine the American dream, and its decline forced Duke to continue searching elsewhere. places.

"In a scene where no one with ambitions is really what they appear to be, there's not much risk in acting like a monster from hell."

Throughout Thompson's career, his identity as a self-proclaimed "freak" was a major part of his (Brinkley and McDonnell) public persona. In this passage, Duke blurs the distinction between the "freaks" of the counterculture and the business moguls who appear, on the surface, to be living examples of dominant values. He suggests that prominent figures in Las Vegas business and counterculture recklessly pursue ambition, even if dishonesty is necessary to get ahead.

“Journalism is not a profession or a trade. It's a cheap trap for idiots and misfits: a false door to the back of life, a dirty little piss-filled hole nailed by the building inspector, but deep enough for a drunk to climb out. sidewalk and masturbate like a chimpanzee in a zoo cage.

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fear and loathing in las vegasis full of harsh criticism directed at a wide variety of targets, from Las Vegas casinos to police officers and tourists. However, Duke keeps his most scathing criticisms to himself and his fellow journalists. The language of this passage is scatological and remarkably profane, even for a writer known for his willingness to push the envelope. Duke's self-loathing at the end of the trip could be the result (or an amalgamation) of several factors: his inability to track the American Dream, a hangover from his extreme drug binge, and/or a general sense of frustration with Las Vegas. Las Vegas and American culture.

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