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. 20 Apr. 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 April 20, 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 April 20, 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 April 20, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Fear-and-Loathing-in-Las-Vegas/.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas | Part 2, Chapter 4 : No Refuge for Degenerates ... Reflections on a Murderous Junkie | Summary

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Summary

Duke and Dr. Gonzo return to the Flamingo to find a message from Lucy at the Americana. While Dr. Gonzo vomits in the bathroom, Duke considers how the hero of their story is doomed, even though he's not sure who the hero is. Dr. Gonzo is disappointed to learn Lucy has called. The desk clerk calls back to tell them the woman who called sounded "disturbed." Duke yells at him because they are watching the news and "There's a war on man! People are being killed!" Duke softens when the clerk says Lucy was crying. He tells the clerk to be gentle with her if she calls again. He says she is a case study in a controlled experiment on laudanum addiction, but she is "perfectly harmless."

Dr. Gonzo tells Duke Lucy is looking for Duke because she has a crush on him. Duke begins packing his suitcase and says he is leaving town. Dr. Gonzo asks where his gun is, and Duke says he sold it in Baker. Duke imagines the testimony Lucy might give against them in court, and along with the contents of their car, he believes it can send them to prison for a long time.

Analysis

Duke's politeness at the front desk continues to pay dividends for Duke and Dr. Gonzo as the desk clerk helps them with the Lucy situation. Duke almost ruins their good relationship with the clerk by shouting at him about news and the war, but the reminder of the Vietnam War also serves a literary purpose. Dr. Gonzo has done something despicable and objectively heinous. Duke's worries about how a jury will see these events are justified, if exaggerated in their presentation. Dr. Gonzo has violated Lucy by any legal or moral definition. He didn't mean her any harm, and through the haze of his drug logic he doesn't realize he has violated her until the damage is done. None of that matters. He is guilty. And Duke is guilty of helping Dr. Gonzo and leaving a damaged and fragile young woman to fend for herself in Las Vegas.

On some level, Duke seems to realize the damage he has done and the potential for damage for everyone involved in this sordid scene. A note of sincerity creeps into his tone when he tells the clerk to be gentle with Lucy if she calls back, even though his primary concern remains saving himself and his attorney.

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