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 things to think about. Was this journey real Was Hunter S. Thompson drawing off real life experiences to create this strange and insightful journey If this was strictly a fictional story this is obivoiusly written by a man who had alot of experience 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 attorney 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 harsh real ties of what it is.
He was not alone in this feeling he makes it clear when he remarks that Nixon's term marked the popularity of downers. The whole country was in a down 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 innocent his high nights seemed compare this with the constant pannonia 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 loathing. I also be liv that the choice of Las Vegas as the hunting ground for the Amercian Dream was extremely important.
I think that for many Vegas especially circa 1971 embodied 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 penis ons and savings and two bit gamblers hoping that they to could strike it rich and become geni une 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 conference both I think were used as vehicles to see American culture from opposite spectrum's. There was the racers and fans for the Mint 400 a rough and tumble bunch 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 people attending the drug convention a cross section of middle american law enforcement people. To these people a free trip to vegas was the vacation 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. Raul and his attorney had at one time found there American Dream and had lost it along with 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 convention people they represented the masses grinding it out everyday 9 to 5 living the so called "Honest American Way" oblivious to the way thing we re beyond their own front lawns. 343.