Hunter S. Thompson : A True American Hero
Who is Hunter S. Thompson?
Author Journalist, and Politician
Inventor of Gonzo Journalism
Key member of the New Journalism Movement
Author of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"
Memorable Use of Point-of-View
The use of a point-of-view perspective is a key aspect of Thompson’s work; and is an imperative component to Gonzo Journalism.
This effect is perfectly shown in the opening paragraphs of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which is considered by many as the high watermark of Gonzo.
Excerpt (colors don't translate over to this post)
“We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold. I remember saying something like, "I feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should drive . . ."And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the car, which was going about 100 miles an hour with the top down to Las Vegas. And a voice was screaming: "Holy Jesus! What are these goddamn animals?"
Then it was quiet again. My attorney had taken his shirt off and was pouring beer on his chest, to facilitate the tanning process. "What the hell are you yelling about," he muttered, staring up at the sun with his eyes closed and covered with wraparound Spanish sunglasses. "Never mind," I said. "It's your turn to drive." I hit the brakes and aimed the Great Red Shark toward the shoulder of the highway. No point mentioning those bats, I thought. The poor bastard will see them soon enough.”
Analysis, Part one
Thompson’s unique use of point-of-view is exemplified in these highlighted phrases in many ways.
First of all - he pushes the devise of using point-of-view to it’s physical limits - the narrator is literally seeing things that are not there.
The fact that the narrator knows, and realizes, this, further characterizes him and helps drive the narrative and themes of the story.
Analysis, Part Two
Thompson’s expert use of the first person bleeds over into his use of dialogue.
The character is so far gone from the drugs, that when he speaks, he is not even sure he is speaking.
He does this by saying “I remember saying..” and “A voice screaming…” when the main character speaks.
The manipulation of dialogue is a direct bi-product of Thompson’s masterful use of point-of-view.
Thompson’s use of point-of-view had an incredible impact on Journalism, and therefore fiction.
By filtering reality through it’s writer (the narrator, Raoul Duke, is Thompson’s alter-ego), it created a unique form of story-telling, which lays somewhere in between fiction and non-fiction.
This foundation is almost entirely built on the ability to tell a story through the point-of-view of the narrator.
(an Awesome Picture of Hunter S. Thompson that says "Professionalism" underneath it.)
the geeeeetar (a.k.a. - guitar)
6 years ago