Literature Study GuidesFear And Loathing In Las Vegas

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas | Study Guide

Hunter S. Thompson

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Course Hero. "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Study Guide." Course Hero. 26 Sep. 2017. Web. 28 Sep. 2023. <>.

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Course Hero. (2017, September 26). Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved September 28, 2023, from

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Course Hero. "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Study Guide." September 26, 2017. Accessed September 28, 2023.


Course Hero, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Study Guide," September 26, 2017, accessed September 28, 2023,


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Hunter S. Thompson

Year Published





Adventure, Satire

Perspective and Narrator

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas features a first-person narrator. However, the narrator's altered state of consciousness—well documented in the text—makes the narration highly subjective.


Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is written in the past tense.

About the Title

The title Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream refers two trips Thompson took with his friend Oscar Acosta to Las Vegas in 1971. Thompson uses the pseudonyms Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo for himself and his friend respectively, partly to protect them from legal action as he describes two weeks of excessive drug use, which leads to erratic public displays as well as to the defrauding of casinos and the destroying of expensive rental cars. Their law breaking and refusal to abide by any norms of polite society make Duke and Dr. Gonzo's time in Las Vegas a "savage journey." Duke is aware of the fear and loathing his and Dr. Gonzo's actions inspire in those around him, and those feelings are mutual. Duke expresses disgust for the consumption and violence underlying life in Las Vegas, which feeds his feelings of alienation and inspires him to create more mayhem.

The phrase "fear and loathing" also carries political weight in Thompson's canon of work, expressing his distaste for traditionalism and conservative political values. After publication of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Thompson used the phrase in titles of two articles: "Fear and Loathing in the Bunker" and "Fear and Loathing at the Super Bowl." He again reused the phrase in the title of his third book Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72, an account of the 1972 presidential campaign between George McGovern and Richard Nixon.


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