F&LILV Question #7: The Women of the Story

by Hunter S. Thompson

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Still-Rather-Timid
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Unread postby Still-Rather-Timid » Wed Sep 14, 2005 10:30 pm

I still think that the waitress, the chambermaid, and Lucy--3 women--in F&LILV are subjected to uglier and more extended abusive treatment than any of the men. But, even though I confess to exploding with laughter at much of the writing about Lucy, I continue to feel very uneasy about everything I've heard and read about Hunter's verbal treatment of women. I would like to think that he is deliberately parodying a kind of behavior to expose and ridicule it, assuming an Archie Bunker-ish persona, but then there are just too many scenes of women not only being abused, but being depicted as so monstrous that they almost seem to deserve it, that I continue to be troubled. Even Hunter's reference to Kate in one of the letters Johnny reads on the Criterion F&LILV makes me feel icky, as someone else here so aptly put it! I also confess that I'm probably extreme on this issue and can hardly stomach a lot of depictions of women I see in the popular media, even in these more egalitarian times. In fact, Lasse Halstrom is about the only male director whose films I'm thoroughly comfortable with--he respects women. So as far as I can judge, I do think Hunter is a sexist, and his writing reflects his sexism, but I still appreciate and admire him, and am still laughing at poor Lucy!
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Unread postby CarrieKY » Wed Sep 14, 2005 11:02 pm

Somehow, on some level, I have always thought that Hunter was way ahead of his time regarding women. My feeling about his treatment of women in the book, is that it is tongue-in-cheek like his writings about other prejudices of life.

After reading much of Hunter's work, I agree that he uses humor to make us think....that he points out the absurdity of a situation, pounces on it, and slaps it into oblivion! He is always so over the top.



JMHO :twocents:

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Unread postby Still-Rather-Timid » Wed Sep 14, 2005 11:12 pm

CarrieKY wrote:Somehow, on some level, I have always thought that Hunter was way ahead of his time regarding women. My feeling about his treatment of women in the book, is that it is tongue-in-cheek like his writings about other prejudices of life.

After reading much of Hunter's work, I agree that he uses humor to make us think....that he points out the absurdity of a situation, pounces on it, and slaps it into oblivion! He is always so over the top.



JMHO :twocents:


I honestly and sincerely hope your feeling is right, CarrieKY. Maybe Johnny could tell us.

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Unread postby CarrieKY » Wed Sep 14, 2005 11:51 pm

Still-Rather-Timid wrote:
CarrieKY wrote:Somehow, on some level, I have always thought that Hunter was way ahead of his time regarding women. My feeling about his treatment of women in the book, is that it is tongue-in-cheek like his writings about other prejudices of life.

After reading much of Hunter's work, I agree that he uses humor to make us think....that he points out the absurdity of a situation, pounces on it, and slaps it into oblivion! He is always so over the top.



JMHO :twocents:


I honestly and sincerely hope your feeling is right, CarrieKY. Maybe Johnny could tell us.



Ahh...I suppose he could.

I am such a feminist, and like the others who have posted on this subject, I laughed out loud at many of the "sexist" parts of F&LILV. I cannot explain it, other than my hope that Hunter is just kidding.

I loved the article about "the judge" that is included in the Steadman thread. How much more "over the top" can someone get than HST's treatment of that subject? But, did I think that Hunter condoned his behavior? I did not.

Ok, now pass that Margarita pitcher, will ya? :-)

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Unread postby shame_about_rasins » Thu Sep 15, 2005 2:10 am

I just had another thought, the women are not prtrayed as a lesser human being, just they way they are treated, I think thins may prove that Hunter did not think of women as the lesser sex. Otherwise he would have portrayed that way.
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Unread postby Endora » Thu Sep 15, 2005 6:06 am

Still-Rather-Timid wrote:I still think that the waitress, the chambermaid, and Lucy--3 women--in F&LILV are subjected to uglier and more extended abusive treatment than any of the men. But, even though I confess to exploding with laughter at much of the writing about Lucy, I continue to feel very uneasy about everything I've heard and read about Hunter's verbal treatment of women. I would like to think that he is deliberately parodying a kind of behavior to expose and ridicule it, assuming an Archie Bunker-ish persona, but then there are just too many scenes of women not only being abused, but being depicted as so monstrous that they almost seem to deserve it, that I continue to be troubled.


Like you, srt, I continue to be disturbed by this aspect of the book, and I also would like to, but can't quite, believe in the potential aim of a monstrous parody.

But another point, not strictly on topic I'm afraid, is that recently we see a trend in humour where women can be very dismissive, even verbally abusive towards men. We see this in advertising aimed at women, as an example, where we often see man portrayed as either just bodies or stupid, disorganised, oafish etc. Would we accept this if the roles were reversed? Do we have double standards? And are we looking at a part of the social movement that values masculinity less, leading to less well defined roles for young men and the social consequences that may bring?

Sorry about all the questions, but it's all to the credit of Fand L as a piece of work that it leads to this type of discussion. :blush:
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Sep 15, 2005 8:29 am

Endora wrote:
Still-Rather-Timid wrote:I still think that the waitress, the chambermaid, and Lucy--3 women--in F&LILV are subjected to uglier and more extended abusive treatment than any of the men. But, even though I confess to exploding with laughter at much of the writing about Lucy, I continue to feel very uneasy about everything I've heard and read about Hunter's verbal treatment of women. I would like to think that he is deliberately parodying a kind of behavior to expose and ridicule it, assuming an Archie Bunker-ish persona, but then there are just too many scenes of women not only being abused, but being depicted as so monstrous that they almost seem to deserve it, that I continue to be troubled.


Like you, srt, I continue to be disturbed by this aspect of the book, and I also would like to, but can't quite, believe in the potential aim of a monstrous parody.

But another point, not strictly on topic I'm afraid, is that recently we see a trend in humour where women can be very dismissive, even verbally abusive towards men. We see this in advertising aimed at women, as an example, where we often see man portrayed as either just bodies or stupid, disorganised, oafish etc. Would we accept this if the roles were reversed? Do we have double standards? And are we looking at a part of the social movement that values masculinity less, leading to less well defined roles for young men and the social consequences that may bring?

Sorry about all the questions, but it's all to the credit of Fand L as a piece of work that it leads to this type of discussion. :blush:


Endora, I know what you mean. For me the outcome of the womens movement was meant to be equality of the sexes.
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Unread postby DeppLovesBananahs » Thu Sep 15, 2005 6:21 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:Hannah, I like the way you analyzed it. And that is the great thing about the discussion is, there is no right or wrong way to analyze the book (you are not being graded :-O , promise!) I love the way our discussions build or turn based on each others thoughts. :cool:


Thank you, DITHOT, I really like this discussions because it helps me in school actually. Like, we have to read books for school and get tested on them and some of them have essays on the test. I think with these disscussions, I better understand how to answer questions about books and how to give a better answer.

I'm glad I'm not being graded, would the Stephen King corn line get points off? :-O :blush:

And also, what's cool is I look at what others on here say who may be a bit older or even teachers themselves and see how I can incorporate that into school. So it all evens itself out.

Thanks again, :cool:
Hannah
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Unread postby shame_about_rasins » Thu Sep 15, 2005 8:06 pm

DeppLovesBananahs wrote:
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:Hannah, I like the way you analyzed it. And that is the great thing about the discussion is, there is no right or wrong way to analyze the book (you are not being graded :-O , promise!) I love the way our discussions build or turn based on each others thoughts. :cool:


Thank you, DITHOT, I really like this discussions because it helps me in school actually. Like, we have to read books for school and get tested on them and some of them have essays on the test. I think with these disscussions, I better understand how to answer questions about books and how to give a better answer.

I'm glad I'm not being graded, would the Stephen King corn line get points off? :-O :blush:

And also, what's cool is I look at what others on here say who may be a bit older or even teachers themselves and see how I can incorporate that into school. So it all evens itself out.

Thanks again, :cool:
Hannah

I agree DLB, if only we could study F&L in school, then i might like english! :chill:
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Sep 15, 2005 11:20 pm

Hannah, there are no points taken off, ever!

sar, I can't tell you the roads I have been down since joining ONBC. Last night I watched a documentary on Ernest Hemmingway that would never have been on my radar screen a few years ago. Don't give up on those English classes, you never know when something you may not like may lead you to something you love!
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Unread postby DeppLovesBananahs » Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:48 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:Hannah, there are no points taken off, ever!


YAY. My Stephen King Corn line STANDS. :bounce:

sar, thanks for agreeing with me, I do hope English gets more fun down the road, my teacher right now likes Brad Pitt. :-O I brought JD quotes to class because she gives extra credits for quotes for the daily journal response to the quote. And she told me she loves Brad Pitt. And I also gave her a Charlie Chaplin quote and she was like, oh I didn't know he had quotes and I was like, yeah apparently he talks.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:53 pm

DeppLovesBananahs wrote:
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:Hannah, there are no points taken off, ever!


YAY. My Stephen King Corn line STANDS. :bounce:

sar, thanks for agreeing with me, I do hope English gets more fun down the road, my teacher right now likes Brad Pitt. :-O I brought JD quotes to class because she gives extra credits for quotes for the daily journal response to the quote. And she told me she loves Brad Pitt. And I also gave her a Charlie Chaplin quote and she was like, oh I didn't know he had quotes and I was like, yeah apparently he talks.


sar, that is one of the best comebacks I have ever heard. "Apparently he talks...) :biglaugh:
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Unread postby DeppLovesBananahs » Fri Sep 16, 2005 10:12 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:
DeppLovesBananahs wrote:
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:Hannah, there are no points taken off, ever!


YAY. My Stephen King Corn line STANDS. :bounce:

sar, thanks for agreeing with me, I do hope English gets more fun down the road, my teacher right now likes Brad Pitt. :-O I brought JD quotes to class because she gives extra credits for quotes for the daily journal response to the quote. And she told me she loves Brad Pitt. And I also gave her a Charlie Chaplin quote and she was like, oh I didn't know he had quotes and I was like, yeah apparently he talks.


sar, that is one of the best comebacks I have ever heard. "Apparently he talks...) :biglaugh:


Twas my comeback, tis ok, I go by sar when I double as a comedian on thursday nights. :-O I do hope its ok to use old english on the zone. :-?
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Unread postby Still-Rather-Timid » Fri Sep 16, 2005 11:26 pm

DeppLovesBananahs wrote:
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:
DeppLovesBananahs wrote:
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:Hannah, there are no points taken off, ever!


YAY. My Stephen King Corn line STANDS. :bounce:

sar, thanks for agreeing with me, I do hope English gets more fun down the road, my teacher right now likes Brad Pitt. :-O I brought JD quotes to class because she gives extra credits for quotes for the daily journal response to the quote. And she told me she loves Brad Pitt. And I also gave her a Charlie Chaplin quote and she was like, oh I didn't know he had quotes and I was like, yeah apparently he talks.


sar, that is one of the best comebacks I have ever heard. "Apparently he talks...) :biglaugh:


Twas my comeback, tis ok, I go by sar when I double as a comedian on thursday nights. :-O I do hope its ok to use old english on the zone. :-?


So, DLB, I guess your English teacher has never heard of the speech Charlie gives at the end of The Great Dictator! Well, what can you expect from a Brad Pitt fan?

I have never taught F&LILV in my English class, but a couple of weeks ago we were reading a descriptive essay about weddings in Las Vegas, written around the same time as F&LILV, and the author referred to Las Vegas as the most "allegorical" of American cities, so I pounced on that as a good vocabulary word (as we English teachers do), and asked the students what it meant. No one was sure, so I explained it meant that the city represented a deeper idea or had a symbolic significance, and then I said, "I'm sure some of you know that Hunter S. Thompson called his novel F&LILV 'A Savage Journey into the Heart of the American Dream,' so he obviously thought Las Vegas was allegorical, too!" I could see a couple of the students' (both male) faces light up at that. I used Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as an example today to teach pronoun reference.

The students must think I am losing my mind!

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Unread postby shame_about_rasins » Sat Sep 17, 2005 2:10 am

DeppLovesBananahs wrote:
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:
DeppLovesBananahs wrote:
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:Hannah, there are no points taken off, ever!


YAY. My Stephen King Corn line STANDS. :bounce:

sar, thanks for agreeing with me, I do hope English gets more fun down the road, my teacher right now likes Brad Pitt. :-O I brought JD quotes to class because she gives extra credits for quotes for the daily journal response to the quote. And she told me she loves Brad Pitt. And I also gave her a Charlie Chaplin quote and she was like, oh I didn't know he had quotes and I was like, yeah apparently he talks.


sar, that is one of the best comebacks I have ever heard. "Apparently he talks...) :biglaugh:


Twas my comeback, tis ok, I go by sar when I double as a comedian on thursday nights. :-O I do hope its ok to use old english on the zone. :-?

Ha Ha, I read DITHOT's message about me having a great comeback, I was like awsome... only I do not remeber writing one... :banghead: ... I alsmost go the credit for your humour :banghead: :bounce: :eyebrow: :cool: . But I agree that was really funny :biglaugh:
Last edited by shame_about_rasins on Sat Sep 17, 2005 2:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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