Teacher Guide

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Lesson Plan

Introduction to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a unique novel in that the text includes the account of its own writing. The novel is a roman a clef, or a narrative that includes real life but with a fictional overlay. Like his protagonist Raoul Duke, Thompson was working as a freelance journalist when Sports Illustrated hired him to help cover the Mint 400 off-road motorcycle race in Las Vegas. Thompson’s assignment was straightforward—he was to write captions for a photo essay about the race. Thompson invited Oscar Zeta Acosta, a Mexican-American attorney and activist, to attend the race with him. Acosta was serving as a source for another one of Thompson’s stories about the death of television...

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