Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson: a Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream

Literature is often considered to be a ‘mirror of society’. The literary writing of each author is based off of the environment that each writer is surrounded in, creating different scenarios and genres. The American Dream is the belief that anyone can attain their own version of success through sacrifice and hard work. In Hunter S. Thompson’s novel, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream, he incorporated the portrayal of drug use and effects that takes away material success. The outcome of the drug use keeps society from the mainstream idea of normal behavior, which causes personal injury. Hunter S. Thompson, or fully known as Hunter Stockton Thompson, was born July 18, 1937 in Kentucky. He was born into a middle-class family, being the first of three brothers. After his father’s death, his mother turned into a heavy drinker which influenced Thompson’s behavior and development of his view of the world.

Because of Thompson’s behavior issues and not having a person to guide him, he got himself into trouble with the law. He decided to enlist in the Air Force which helped boost his confidence to get on the right path. In 1956, Hunter began working as a sports journalist, writing for the base newspaper and moonlighting for various local newspapers on the side.

Soon after, Thompson attended the Columbia University’s School of General Studies where he took classes on short story writing. He acquired a job for Time Magazine as a copy boy and eventually was a reporter for Middletown Daily Record….

Thompson decided to make a big move in 1960 and fled to San Juan, Puerto Rico where his career skyrocketed. He took a job with the sporting magazine. During his travels, he was writing articles for a daily newspaper. In his years there, he wrote two serious novels….

A few years passed, and Carey McWilliams hired Thompson to write a story about a motorcycle club in California called Hells Angels. After publishing the story, several books offers appeared before him. He eventually published his story and successfully sold articles to many national magazines.

Thompson eventually moved back with his parents for a little bit before writing another highly acknowledged article, The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved. Although it was not widely accepted, the article was the first to use the techniques of Gonzo journalism. This style influenced Thompson and would later employ in almost every literary endeavor.

Throughout his life, Thompson was always in search of the American dream, which we see portrayed in his writing. He formed his own sort of journalism, Gonzo. His novel, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, was most known for this flamboyant writing style.

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Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas By Hunter S. Thompson: A Savage Journey To The Heart Of The American Dream. (2022, Apr 12). Retrieved December 8, 2022 , from

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