Home > Uncategorized > A response to a scene in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

A response to a scene in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas


In what is equivalent to Chapter 3 of the book, Raoul Duke and his attorney Dr. Gonzo are in a hotel bar.  They’re on their way to report on the Mint 400 race, toward the beginning of a drug-fueled journey in Las Vegas.  When Duke eagerly consumes some of the doctor’s Sunshine Acid, his altered perspective made of brightened colors, squiggly angles, and storming bats goes from psychedlic to scary and uncomfortable.

Everyone in the bar becomes a human-shaped reptilian being.  Duke panics at being so freaked out.  He raves about defending himself against these beasts, who have since caused blood to spill on the floors.  Perhaps what inspired this part of author Hunter S. Thompson’s  book was a random hallucination.  But I think this reflects that the author, if not his main character, has simultaneously become paranoid and disgusted by other people.  He is already nervous; being terrified by the clerk, the lady who says someone is looking for him (whose face turns into an eel’s), and his own inarticulateness.

I think Duke sees those who run the media (the lizards at the press table) just like everyone else (the lizards at the bar).  People that consume and produce news may be mindless consumers (of alcohol) and malicious exploiters (biters of humans).  Las Vegas is an epicenter for indulgence and deception.  Duke seems helplessly jaded and suspicious.  Maybe he is a victim of his own reporter’s mentality- to find the most obscene and savage aspects in people.  He certainly seems silly enough for this to be the point.  But both may be true concepts.  I should really watch or read the rest the movie/book to understand this character better.

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