Corruption of the American Dream in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Powerful Essays
The idea of the American Dream is it began as an idea people could thrive from, but became detrimental through corruption. Society’s necessity for material goods and money for personal happiness distorts the American dream. One’s morals will be compromised once one decides to live a life for the sole purpose of following a corrupted ideal. In Hunter S. Thompson’s literary work, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, his viewpoint of the American Dream is expressed. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, written by Hunter S. Thompson, expresses the decline of society’s morals due to materialistic needs. Thompson proves through symbolism and characterization that society‘s corrupted perception of the American Dream provokes an individual’s morals to decline.

Las Vegas symbolizes the American Dream and shows the corruption of society. When Duke and his Attorney, Dr. Gonzo, are at the Merry-Go-Round Bar, Dr. Gonzo expresses that the counter-culture of Las Vegas is getting to him. Duke struggles to accept what his Attorney says because he desires the Las Vegas lifestyle. Duke explains to Dr. Gonzo that they cannot leave Las Vegas, “…we’re right in the vortex [and] you want to quit….you must realize...that we’ve found the main nerve’” (Thompson 47-48), but Dr. Gonzo has already realized “…that’s what gives [him] the Fear” (Thompson 48). Duke and his Attorney thought that once they were in Las Vegas, the American Dream would be remarkable; but they realize that the American Dream is not magnificent, there are downsides to it. Witnessing how society acts in the “main nerve” of the American Dream, Dr. Gonzo is stricken with fear because he knows the American Dream is not benefitting him. When Duke looks back at his memories of his journey in...

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...ollow a path of destruction hindering one’s life.

Works Cited

Riedel, Luther. "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream." Bloom's Literature. Facts On File, Inc. Web. 2 Mar. 2014 .

Ross, Michael E. "IN SHORT: NONFICTION." New York Times, Late Edition (East Coast) ed.Aug 14 1988. ProQuest. Web. 2 Mar. 2014 .

Self, Will. "Hell, High Water and Heroin: On the Trail of a British Gonzo Journalist to Compare with Hunter S Thompson." New Statesman 10.445 (21 Mar. 1997): 46-47. Rpt. in Contemporary Literary Criticism Select. Detroit: Gale, 2008. Literature Resource Center. Web. 2 Mar. 2014.

Thompson, Hunter S. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream. New York: Vintage, 1998. Print.
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