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. 18 June 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 June 18, 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 June 18, 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 June 18, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Fear-and-Loathing-in-Las-Vegas/.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas | Part 2, Chapter 13 : End of the Road ... Death of the Whale ... Soaking Sweats in the Airport | Summary

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Summary

When Duke sits down at a casino table in Circus-Circus, the bouncers confront him with a photo of him with Dr. Gonzo and drag him outside. Duke says the photo isn't him. It's a guy named Thompson who works for Rolling Stone, and Dr. Gonzo is a hitman for the Hollywood Mafia. He tells them he doesn't know where they are now and shows his conference badge. He asks them not to blow his cover and leaves them standing outside the casino as he drives away in the white Cadillac.

Duke goes to the Flamingo and loads the car. The teenage clerk at VIP car rentals is amazed by the extent of damage to the car, but Duke blames the damage on roving junkies in town. He says he's fully insured and points to the appropriate clause in his contract.

Dripping sweat when he reaches the terminal, Duke reads a newspaper in the coffee shop. He worries about getting his satchel, which contains his drugs and the .357 Magnum, through security. He can't remember if there are metal detectors, and the airport is swarming with cops leaving after the convention. Duke is sure he will be spotted and caught. He reads a newspaper article about an aircraft carrier captain who has been killed in Guam after an "'Accidental' Assault" on the island. Duke decides to give up on newspapers if "this is all they offer."

Analysis

Duke has spent much of his time feeling paranoid that the powers that be in Las Vegas are out to get him. When the security guys at Circus-Circus confront him with photos, Duke finds confirmation his paranoia has some merit. They aren't coming after him for the burn on the Mint or his other crimes yet, but Duke believes his time is running out. He decides to get out of town. Duke only escapes these bouncers by leaning into brazen lies about Dr. Gonzo and, ironically, telling the truth about the guy in the photo being named Thompson.

Through his activities, Duke has managed to destroy two expensive convertibles in roughly a week's time. He appears to have learned enough from the drug convention to understand drug addicts are an easy target to blame, and the clerk at the car rental desk accepts this vague explanation easily. Duke has also picked his car-return time well. An older, more experienced clerk might not allow Duke the same leeway, even though his contract does include insurance.

Duke's paranoia follows him through the airport terminal until he remembers the convention is over, so the place really is full of police. They take little interest in Duke, even though he is carrying items onto the plane that would definitely lead to prosecution in later years.

Duke expresses his frustration with the traditional news reporting by talking about a news report. The details of this clipping, reproduced in the text, contains sensationalized details of the ceremony, which features a rendering of "Tom Thumb's Blues" and is presided over by "a hooded officer known only as the 'Commander.'" These details provide strong evidence the clipping is a parody of the sensationalized details that sell newspapers and build or destroy public sentiment, but Duke wonders why bother with publications that offer so little. Newspapers will print lurid and strange facts in the name of journalism, but they offer little insight or truth about the human condition.

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