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. 22 Sep. 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 September 22, 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 September 22, 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 September 22, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Fear-and-Loathing-in-Las-Vegas/.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas | Part 1, Chapter 2 : The Seizure of $300 from a Pig Woman in Beverly Hills | Summary

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Summary

Before leaving Los Angeles, Duke attempts to get money from the magazine to buy a Vincent Black Shadow for the race. The magazine's LA bureau in Beverly Hills gives him $300 cash instead. Duke and Dr. Gonzo assemble their drug stash. They go to buy a high-end tape recorder, and Dr. Gonzo threatens to find the salesman's house and burn it down when they find the store is closed. They get the recorder, and Dr. Gonzo says the salesman is a "paranoid psychotic" as they drive away. They rent the red convertible and assure the agent they are "responsible people," even though Duke backs the car over a barrier, making the agent suspicious they have been drinking.

Analysis

Dr. Gonzo's assessment of the electronics store salesman is highly ironic, since Dr. Gonzo is the one who threatens extreme and inconvenient violence. Dr. Gonzo will have to find out where the man lives and go to the trouble of setting the house on fire, which sounds like the ravings of a madman. To Dr. Gonzo, the salesman is the crazy one, enforcing seemingly arbitrary rules about closing time for the store and refusing to cut any slack for him and Duke. Dr. Gonzo's ethos neglects the rules, another ironic position, since Dr. Gonzo is an attorney. Dr. Gonzo doesn't practice law to enforce rules so much as to provide a platform for breaking them.

A similar situation unfolds at the car rental lot. Duke tells the agent he and his attorney are responsible people, even though all evidence available to the clerk suggests otherwise. The reader, having already seen Duke and Dr. Gonzo flashing through the desert under the influence of hallucinations and flawed thinking, knows even more about how irresponsible these two men truly are. Their entire reason for being appears to be avoidance of responsibility in any conventional sense.

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