Fear and Loathing vs. on the Road

1595 Words Feb 1st, 2008 7 Pages
The turbulent societal changes of the mid-20th Century have been documented in countless forms of literature, film and art. On the Road by Jack Kerouac was written and published at the outset of the counter-culture movement of the 1950s and 1960s. This novel provides a first-hand account of the beginnings of the Beat movement and acts as a harbinger for the major societal changes that would occur in the United States throughout the next two decades. On the contrary, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, a Hunter S. Thompson novel written in 1971 provides a commentary on American society at the end of the counter-culture movement. Thompson reflects on the whirlwind of political and social activism he experienced and how American society had …show more content…
Sexual experimentation is another theme that foreshadows part of the 1960s counterculture. Free love and multiple sexual partners was a large part of the Hippie culture and these practices have had a big impact on today's culture as well. The conservative idea of one person for everyone and repressed sexual urges were thrown out the window by the young men and women of the Hippie culture. This novel is an account of the beginning of these practices, showing Dean with multiple partners like Marylou and Camille. Sal also expresses his desire to meet and sleep with several women throughout the novel. The end of the counter-culture movements in the late 1960s left the surviving members of this dying culture feeling bitter over the current state of society and trapped in a world that they felt helpless to change. Hunter S. Thompson brings these emotions to the forefront of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Another semi-autobiographical tale with a first-person narrator, the novel documents the experiences of Raoul Duke and his attorney Dr. Gonzo on a trip to Las Vegas. The major theme of the novel is the fading away of the 1960s counterculture, and how the movement had regressed from optimism to cynicism. Duke and Gonzo are portrayed as the last of a dying breed, trying to hold on to the innocence and experimentation of the
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