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. 21 July 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Fear-and-Loathing-in-Las-Vegas/>.

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Course Hero. (2017, September 26). Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved July 21, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Fear-and-Loathing-in-Las-Vegas/

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Course Hero. "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Study Guide." September 26, 2017. Accessed July 21, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Fear-and-Loathing-in-Las-Vegas/.

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Course Hero, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Study Guide," September 26, 2017, accessed July 21, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Fear-and-Loathing-in-Las-Vegas/.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas | Part 1, Chapter 10 : Western Union Intervenes: A Warning from Mr. Heem ... New Assignment from the Sports Desk and a Savage Invitation from the Police | Summary

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Summary

As the valet arrives with the car, a clerk runs up to Duke in an urgent frenzy that convinces Duke he's been caught. Instead the clerk delivers a telegram from Dr. Gonzo to "Hunter S. Thompson c/o Raoul Duke." The telegram instructs Duke to stay in Las Vegas to cover the National Conference of District Attorneys seminar on dangerous drugs for Rolling Stone. A white Cadillac and a suite await him across town at the Flamingo.

The clerk is confused by the message and says the Mint's manager, Mr. Heem, wants to meet Dr. Gonzo. Duke tries to explain away the telegram as a scrambled message from Thompson to Dr. Gonzo, but the clerk presses with questions about when Dr. Gonzo will be available. Duke makes an excuse about needing to get to the race and eases the car away from the hotel.

Duke decides to ignore the telegram and get out of Las Vegas, despite the appeal of "running a savage burn" on one hotel then going across town and doing the same to another one. He also enjoys the irony of attending a law-enforcement conference on drugs as a "drug-addled fraud-fugitive" and thinks it might be a perfect place to hide in plain sight.

Analysis

As if to emphasize the truth of this episode, Thompson inserts his own name into the telegram, revealing Raoul Duke as a pseudonym. Duke's paranoia when the clerk approaches with the telegram is perhaps exaggerated but not completely unfounded. Duke has not broken with reality in the same way Dr. Gonzo has in the preceding two chapters. Interactions in Las Vegas take place under a veneer of politeness. The clerk appears to accept Duke's explanation about the telegram, but he still asks pointed questions about when Dr. Gonzo will be available to meet the manager. Mr. Heem may be less likely to extend the same superficial courtesies, even if Dr. Gonzo were present in the hotel to receive him. Through his drug-addled haze, Duke recognizes the false politeness for what it is, a hedge against the probability of real trouble from an errant guest. He makes his escape with a patently absurd excuse, but he is already in the car and driving away.

Away is a relative term, though, and Duke knows it. He assumes law enforcement or casino thugs will pursue him, and he knows his car and his personal appearance are conspicuous. Hiding in plain sight at the district attorneys' convention may indeed be his best option under the circumstances. His reasoning is twisted, drug-influenced logic, but Las Vegas operates by a twisted logic of its own.

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