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

by Hunter S. Thompson

Moderator: Liz

User avatar
shame_about_rasins
Posts: 2176
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 9:00 pm
Location: sydney, Australia
Contact:

Status: Offline

Unread postby shame_about_rasins » Sat Sep 17, 2005 2:13 am

Still-Rather-Timid wrote:
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!

Whish my english teacher would use Johnny references, He relates everything back to Moulin Rouge, becasue he had an extra's part, only none of us have ever seen him. He is really up himself. Oh well, my drama teacher likes FALILV and Johnny, I made him watch FN and he told me the sext day that he cried... I was so touched.
before he came down it never snowed.........

User avatar
bluebird
Posts: 767
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 10:34 pm
Location: Southeastern PA

Status: Offline

Unread postby bluebird » Sun Sep 18, 2005 6:56 pm

I'm catching up after being away for a week.
All I can say is that this is an amazing thread.
I keep telling myself that F&LILV and TRD are novels...and that Hunter was writing to make a point.
And I remember Hunter's many friends who call him a 'southern gentleman.'

CarrieKY wrote: 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.


"Uses humor to make us think."
He's sure making us do that, isn't he?

bluebird
The edge … there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. HST

User avatar
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
Posts: 10378
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:43 pm
Location: Austin

Status: Offline

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Sep 18, 2005 7:06 pm

He certainly is! I love it!! :bounce: Welcome back by the way! :cool:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -
Wow! What a ride!

User avatar
Sands
Posts: 334
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2004 7:28 pm
Location: Wales, UK

Status: Offline

Unread postby Sands » Sun Sep 18, 2005 7:11 pm

I just had a thought about this thread, and I'm wondering about the whole thing of talking about 'the women' in the book. I mean we don't ask ourselves about 'the men' in the book. I'm kind of wondering if it isn't chauvinistic in itself to lump three or four very different individuals together and generalise about the way they're portrayed just because they happen to all be female. I mean isn't that exactly what we complain about men doing? Not treating us as individual people. I don't think we'd do the same with male characters, such as Lacerda or the speed cop. We might see them as representing Hunter's attitude towards a certain type of person (press photographer, cop, etc) but we wouldn't think they represented his view of men in general.

I don't know if I'm making sense here, it's hard to explain what I mean. And I confess I've always been slightly at odds with the feminist movement. Not because I don't believe in women's liberation or equality, I certainly do, but I don't always agree with the particular way the feminist movement goes about it.

Anyway, if anyone has any thoughts on this that might help me figure it out in my own mind please dive in.
'Well, it's a little difficult for me to tell right now because I'm kind of having a bad day'

User avatar
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
Posts: 10378
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:43 pm
Location: Austin

Status: Offline

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Sep 18, 2005 7:29 pm

Sands wrote:I just had a thought about this thread, and I'm wondering about the whole thing of talking about 'the women' in the book. I mean we don't ask ourselves about 'the men' in the book. I'm kind of wondering if it isn't chauvinistic in itself to lump three or four very different individuals together and generalise about the way they're portrayed just because they happen to all be female. I mean isn't that exactly what we complain about men doing? Not treating us as individual people. I don't think we'd do the same with male characters, such as Lacerda or the speed cop. We might see them as representing Hunter's attitude towards a certain type of person (press photographer, cop, etc) but we wouldn't think they represented his view of men in general.

I don't know if I'm making sense here, it's hard to explain what I mean. And I confess I've always been slightly at odds with the feminist movement. Not because I don't believe in women's liberation or equality, I certainly do, but I don't always agree with the particular way the feminist movement goes about it.

Anyway, if anyone has any thoughts on this that might help me figure it out in my own mind please dive in.


Interesting theory, sands. I think the topic of women in literature has been broached before, especially in our OTR discussion. Maybe the difference is because women were more often treated like second class citizens as a group unlike the males of our culture who tend to be treated more like individuals? KY, srt? What do you have to say?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

User avatar
KYwoman
Posts: 5958
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 7:26 pm
Location: Kentucky (KY); birthplace of Johnny Depp and Hunter S Thompson

Status: Offline

Unread postby KYwoman » Sun Sep 18, 2005 9:06 pm

Sands wrote:I just had a thought about this thread, and I'm wondering about the whole thing of talking about 'the women' in the book. I mean we don't ask ourselves about 'the men' in the book. I'm kind of wondering if it isn't chauvinistic in itself to lump three or four very different individuals together and generalise about the way they're portrayed just because they happen to all be female. I mean isn't that exactly what we complain about men doing? Not treating us as individual people. I don't think we'd do the same with male characters, such as Lacerda or the speed cop. We might see them as representing Hunter's attitude towards a certain type of person (press photographer, cop, etc) but we wouldn't think they represented his view of men in general.

I don't know if I'm making sense here, it's hard to explain what I mean. And I confess I've always been slightly at odds with the feminist movement. Not because I don't believe in women's liberation or equality, I certainly do, but I don't always agree with the particular way the feminist movement goes about it.

Anyway, if anyone has any thoughts on this that might help me figure it out in my own mind please dive in.


Well, I guess it's my personal bent to pay particular attention to the female characters in literature, especially in works written by men (but not exculsively of course). Not sure why, except to say I was strongly influenced by Gloria Steinem in my youth.

Historically, male authors have dominated the literary scene with males, more often than not, being central in the story line. When Random House's Modern Library composed a list of the top 100 best novels in English of the 20th century, I think there were less than 10 works listed written by women. (Erica Jong later conducted an informal survey and based on that information composed a list of the top 100 novels of the 20th century written by women.) With a history of male authors being seen as the most definative literary 'voice', I personally believe it is important to understand and explore how this 'voice'/point of view reflects in fiction the 'other half'- women. Often in many cultures the male point of view is seen as THE point of view, therefore minimizing or making secondary how women see/feel/ believe, etc. I tend to become irrate when I hear the term Chick-lit or Chick-flick, since doing so can diminish it's universal appeal and marginalize it's importance, as if the male POV is for everyone and the women's POV is only of interest to women. Maybe what I'm trying to say is that if male authors are seen as the voice of our culture I want to know what they're saying about me/women. I think the fact that there were so few females in F & L says something too. I agree that women shouldn't perpetuate the very things we accuse our counterparts in doing, but I don't think asking the questions diminishes the male characters. It's just another way to examine the work. Women have made great strides in this country, and I think because of this the arguments of the early feminist movement seems dated and unnecessary. Then I look at that book list that came out in 1998 (?) and I think well maybe we still have some way to go.

I'm rambling, but I hope I've explained in some way why I explore how fictionalized female characters are written. I'm not a literary scholar so all of this is my opinion only. Did this clear or muddy the waters?
"Buy the ticket, take the ride." :motorcycle:

Still-Rather-Timid
Posts: 1304
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2004 7:07 pm

Status: Offline

Unread postby Still-Rather-Timid » Sun Sep 18, 2005 9:23 pm

Sands wrote:I just had a thought about this thread, and I'm wondering about the whole thing of talking about 'the women' in the book. I mean we don't ask ourselves about 'the men' in the book. I'm kind of wondering if it isn't chauvinistic in itself to lump three or four very different individuals together and generalise about the way they're portrayed just because they happen to all be female.


I must confess that when I react negatively to the treatment of women in F&LILV, my reaction is colored by more than what is strictly between the covers of the book. If Hunter had written only one book in which three women happen to be portrayed more degradingly than anyone else in the book, with overtones of sexual violence against them, but he had also written several books (or even one!) which had sympathetic women protagonists, I probably would be comfortable believing that well, Lucy is just a caricature of a particular kind of teenaged-girl Jesus Freak from the late 60s. But Hunter's works as a whole make me uncomfortable because there is so often a fascination with violence against women, and with women being portrayed as degraded objects rather than powerful subjects. The way he chooses to portray women is pretty uniform, from everything I've seen (admittedly not everything). And If I had not heard of Hunter's comments like the ones about Kate Moss, I may not have looked as suspiciously upon the episodes of Lucy, the waitress, and the chambermaid. So I admit that I am not sticking fairly to the book itself when I get in a huff about the portrayal of women in it.

And I agree with DITHOT that Hunter reflects a tendency still rife in our society to view women as lesser beings. But of course I live in a country that has yet to have a woman president, where women are more likely than men to live in poverty, the list goes on. . . .

User avatar
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
Posts: 10378
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:43 pm
Location: Austin

Status: Offline

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Sep 18, 2005 9:26 pm

srt wrote: And I agree with DITHOT that Hunter reflects a tendency still rife in our society to view women as lesser beings. But of course I live in a country that has yet to have a woman leader, where women are more likely than men to live in poverty, the list goes on. . .


Interesting point, srt. The UK has had a female head of state. I suppose it is difficult to compare unless one has lived in both cultures, but I wonder if that has made a difference in the UK?
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

Still-Rather-Timid
Posts: 1304
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2004 7:07 pm

Status: Offline

Unread postby Still-Rather-Timid » Sun Sep 18, 2005 9:29 pm

KYwoman wrote:
Sands wrote:I just had a thought about this thread, and I'm wondering about the whole thing of talking about 'the women' in the book. I mean we don't ask ourselves about 'the men' in the book. I'm kind of wondering if it isn't chauvinistic in itself to lump three or four very different individuals together and generalise about the way they're portrayed just because they happen to all be female. I mean isn't that exactly what we complain about men doing? Not treating us as individual people. I don't think we'd do the same with male characters, such as Lacerda or the speed cop. We might see them as representing Hunter's attitude towards a certain type of person (press photographer, cop, etc) but we wouldn't think they represented his view of men in general.

I don't know if I'm making sense here, it's hard to explain what I mean. And I confess I've always been slightly at odds with the feminist movement. Not because I don't believe in women's liberation or equality, I certainly do, but I don't always agree with the particular way the feminist movement goes about it.

Anyway, if anyone has any thoughts on this that might help me figure it out in my own mind please dive in.


Well, I guess it's my personal bent to pay particular attention to the female characters in literature, especially in works written by men (but not exculsively of course). Not sure why, except to say I was strongly influenced by Gloria Steinem in my youth.

Historically, male authors have dominated the literary scene with males, more often than not, being central in the story line. When Random House's Modern Library composed a list of the top 100 best novels in English of the 20th century, I think there were less than 10 works listed written by women. (Erica Jong later conducted an informal survey and based on that information composed a list of the top 100 novels of the 20th century written by women.) With a history of male authors being seen as the most definative literary 'voice', I personally believe it is important to understand and explore how this 'voice'/point of view reflects in fiction the 'other half'- women. Often in many cultures the male point of view is seen as THE point of view, therefore minimizing or making secondary how women see/feel/ believe, etc. I tend to become irrate when I hear the term Chick-lit or Chick-flick, since doing so can diminish it's universal appeal and marginalize it's importance, as if the male POV is for everyone and the women's POV is only of interest to women. Maybe what I'm trying to say is that if male authors are seen as the voice of our culture I want to know what they're saying about me/women. I think the fact that there were so few females in F & L says something too. I agree that women shouldn't perpetuate the very things we accuse our counterparts in doing, but I don't think asking the questions diminishes the male characters. It's just another way to examine the work. Women have made great strides in this country, and I think because of this the arguments of the early feminist movement seems dated and unnecessary. Then I look at that book list that came out in 1998 (?) and I think well maybe we still have some way to go.

I'm rambling, but I hope I've explained in some way why I explore how fictionalized female characters are written. I'm not a literary scholar so all of this is my opinion only. Did this clear or muddy the waters?


KYWoman, I am, supposedly, a literary scholar, and you have put your point a lot more succinctly and clearly than I could have! Your comments have also reminded me that a place where the male viewpoint dominates even more thoroughly is in film. How many female directors make mainstream films?

User avatar
abigail
Posts: 910
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 7:27 pm

Status: Offline

Unread postby abigail » Mon Sep 19, 2005 1:27 am

That was a wonderful post KYwoman. Thank you. :cool:
"A man must funtion in a pattern of his own choosing. For to let another man define your own goals is to give up one of the most meaningful aspects of life - The definitive act of will, which makes a man an individual. "
- Hunter S. Thompson

User avatar
dharma_bum
Posts: 2509
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 2:05 am
Location: Villa Incognito

Status: Offline

Unread postby dharma_bum » Mon Sep 19, 2005 3:59 am

Sands, SRT… this thread just keeps getting better and better. I think Hunter’s writing reflects a bit of unintentional objectification of women because they—we—confounded him. All supposition on my part, but it seems Hunter used aggressive behavior to push PEOPLE to their outer limits. Women don’t respond well to intimidation, it makes us feel icky. In other words, treating women the same way he treated men got unpredictable results.

There was a recent study that analyzed how male and female cops’ responses differed in powder keg situations: men tended to escalate violence and women tended to diffuse it because women absorbed aggression instead of reflecting it back.
"You can't broom out your head. You certainly can't broom out your heart. And there's a hot wire between them, and everything shows in the eyes."
—Johnny Depp

User avatar
Sands
Posts: 334
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2004 7:28 pm
Location: Wales, UK

Status: Offline

Unread postby Sands » Mon Sep 19, 2005 8:04 am

Thanks a lot for your responses everyone. A lot to think about there. I do understand your viewpoints, and to a large extent I was kind of playing devil's advocate because I feel we have to be so careful not to try and 'beat them at their own game' rather than putting a stop to the game altogether, if you know what I mean.

And dharma_bum I think you may be on to something there. Hunter did push people to their limits and that would definitely have a different effect on women than it did on men, which he might not have understood. In fact I have seen that syndrome in other men I've known. We're getting into Mars and Venus territory here aren't we ;-)

And as for Margaret Thatcher, I think she probably did more harm than good to the women's cause in Britain to be honest. She was definitely one of those 'if you can't beat 'em join 'em' kind of women, trying to be more 'male' than the men. And paradoxically she was very unpopular with feminists and more progressive thinking people generally. She was only popular with the most reactionary conservative people. A bit like having Bush as your first woman president, or Nixon even - not likely to encourage people to try it again.
'Well, it's a little difficult for me to tell right now because I'm kind of having a bad day'

User avatar
dharma_bum
Posts: 2509
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 2:05 am
Location: Villa Incognito

Status: Offline

Unread postby dharma_bum » Mon Sep 19, 2005 10:06 pm

Sands wrote:I feel we have to be so careful not to try and 'beat them at their own game' rather than putting a stop to the game altogether, if you know what I mean.

YES! That was definitely the lesson I learned from the icky workplace politics of the eighties and nineties. However the hardest lesson for me to accept, ultimately, was that men and women are hardwired differently, and trying to mess with that wiring might give you shock of your life.
"You can't broom out your head. You certainly can't broom out your heart. And there's a hot wire between them, and everything shows in the eyes."

—Johnny Depp

User avatar
DeppLovesBananahs
Posts: 1220
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2004 12:24 pm
Location: a high and beautiful wave
Contact:

Status: Offline

Unread postby DeppLovesBananahs » Mon Sep 19, 2005 10:14 pm

shame_about_rasins wrote:
Still-Rather-Timid wrote:
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!

Whish my english teacher would use Johnny references, He relates everything back to Moulin Rouge, becasue he had an extra's part, only none of us have ever seen him. He is really up himself. Oh well, my drama teacher likes FALILV and Johnny, I made him watch FN and he told me the sext day that he cried... I was so touched.


You know whats funny is I was writing a history paper on what IS history and I mentioned FALILV! It was about how the media and history are hand in hand and how books sort of mock the media...it was sort of a long explanation about how that is so. Anyway, it sort of just came out, the reference. I always try to incorporate it somehow, but this just struck me.

As for my Brad Pitt English teacher, today she was teaching about the Puritans, because we're reading historical naratives...*snooze* Of Plymouth Rock....and I had to answer questions about how that dingbat William Bradford liked turkey and ate it with the Native Americans. I'm sorry if I come across.....stupid, but I have this class eighth period (last period of the day then I have cross country......) and its pretty boring......now if Johnny Depp was a Puritan..... :cloud9: :bride:

Hannah

ps I should post periodically updates on my english teacher and if she's Depp obsessed yet. I'll work on her. My last year's writing lab was.....thanks to me.
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Rosevelt

User avatar
abigail
Posts: 910
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 7:27 pm

Status: Offline

Unread postby abigail » Tue Sep 20, 2005 2:41 am

dharma_bum wrote:
Sands wrote:I feel we have to be so careful not to try and 'beat them at their own game' rather than putting a stop to the game altogether, if you know what I mean.

YES! That was definitely the lesson I learned from the icky workplace politics of the eighties and nineties.

Ditto, dharma_bum. Sands you've put that so eloquently. Man I love this thread. So many great thoughts being shared here! :goodvibes:
"A man must funtion in a pattern of his own choosing. For to let another man define your own goals is to give up one of the most meaningful aspects of life - The definitive act of will, which makes a man an individual. "

- Hunter S. Thompson


Return to “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest