Essay on Response to Hunter S. Thompsons Ferar and Loathing in Las Vegas

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Pages: 5

Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a travelogue of sorts, due to the blurred lines between fiction and non-fiction, which deeply explores the status of the American Dream during the early 70’s, specifically 1971. Thompson states this purpose within the first three chapters of the book in the line, “Because I want you to know that we’re on our way to Las Vegas to find the American Dream.” (F&L pg 6) Although Thompson states in the beginning of the book that, “Our trip was different. It was a classic affirmation of everything right and true and decent in the national character. It was a gross, physical salute to the fantastic possibilities of life in this country…” by the end of the book he comes to the conclusion …show more content…
All those pathetically eager acid freaks who thought they could buy Peace and Understanding for three bucks a hit. But their loss and failure is ours too. What Leary took down with him was the central illusion of a whole life-style that he helped create... a generation of permanent cripples, failed seekers, who never understood the essential old-mystic fallacy of the Acid Culture: the desperate assumption that somebody... or at least some force - is tending the light at the end of the tunnel.” (F&L pg 178)

Thompson’s criticism of society does not exclude the counterculture generation. In fact, his disappointment in the generation is even more acute since he was a part of the movement. The generation tried to start a new American Dream, one without the materialistic values of excess and greed. However, the movement didn’t have a solid backbone, and failed to put into consideration the grim realities that exist in America. People thought that LSD alone could change the future, and that lead to what Thompson calls “a generation of permanent cripples, failed seekers…” The change in society that the movement called for was destroyed with the election of Nixon, and by that time the movement was so broken up that they could not stop it from being torn apart. In essence, the American Dream of the sixties has been cannibalized by something else, which would be improper to call the American Dream; instead it should be called “the