Road Trips in Literature: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Travels with Charlie

Road Trips in Literature: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Travels with Charlie

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Road trips are known to be fun adventures. When someone says they are going on a road trip people expect them to go and see amazing places and then come back. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson, Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck and On the Road by Jack Kerouac are about road trips but these trips are not about the adventure. Duke from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Sal from On the Road and Steinbeck from Travels with Charley all go on road trips because of the American drive. I am also on the road and even thought it is not road trips I am moving around and it is because of the American drive. The American drive is the need to go and to be on the move and it started because people were not happy about their current lives and they wanted to do more. They went on the journey to find happiness and success.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is about Hunter S. Thompson’s journey to Las Vegas. He portrays himself as Duke and he goes on a trip with his friend Gonzo. This trip in people’s eyes seems like a disaster. They are drunk and high all the time, which causes them to drive recklessly and be carefree. Duke and Gonzo offer a ride to a hitchhiker and Duke tells him “I want you to know that we’re on our way to Las Vegas to find the American Dream. That’s why we rented this car. It was the only way to do it. Can you grasp that”(2)? The American Dream is finding money and being successful because of all the opportunities America has to offer. Duke came from California to Las Vegas to write an article and he was going to be paid for that article. He could not find money or success in California and so when he got his opportunity he went for it. He wanted to make money and he did try to. When they were at Circus Cir...


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...have not been happy because I could not be as successful as I am today. On Sunday I am getting my high school diploma from a private school and that would not have been possible in Turkey. The journey though is still continuing and it is because of the American drive.
Road trips are meant to be fun and they are meant for people to see places but they can have a deeper meaning. They could be about being successful and finding money like it was for Duke from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. It could be about find the true meaning of America like it was for Steinbeck from Travels with Charley or it could be about being happy and successful like it was for Sal from On the Road. All three of the characters and I have the American drive. We want to be on the go and achieve something because we tend to want more than what we already have and we want to be happy with it.



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