F&LILV Question #24 - Symbolism

by Hunter S. Thompson

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dharma_bum
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Unread postby dharma_bum » Thu Sep 29, 2005 11:38 pm

Raven wrote:
dharma_bum wrote:These symbols aren't nearly as mythic as the desert, but the Shark and the Whale are certainly a living breathing characters in both the book and movie. A shark of course is dangerous, stealthy, fast, sleek and lethal which accounts for the freewheeling confidence of our boys during the Mint assignment. The shark escapes unscathed… is this meant to be symbolic of the optimistic side of the "long fine flash" of the 60s?

Then of course there is the Whale. A whale is a smart but slow moving, bloated creature who was headed for extinction in the early 70’s. The Whale of course gets battered beyond recognition without having any of the fun…. The death of the American Dream?


wow DB! we were having a similar thought here.

que twilight zone music


Synchronicity... I also meant to add that both the Shark and the Whale were rented... things that you cannot keep or hold on to for very long with a price to pay if you do.
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Unread postby Raven » Thu Sep 29, 2005 11:50 pm

dharma_bum wrote:
Raven wrote:
dharma_bum wrote:These symbols aren't nearly as mythic as the desert, but the Shark and the Whale are certainly a living breathing characters in both the book and movie. A shark of course is dangerous, stealthy, fast, sleek and lethal which accounts for the freewheeling confidence of our boys during the Mint assignment. The shark escapes unscathed… is this meant to be symbolic of the optimistic side of the "long fine flash" of the 60s?

Then of course there is the Whale. A whale is a smart but slow moving, bloated creature who was headed for extinction in the early 70’s. The Whale of course gets battered beyond recognition without having any of the fun…. The death of the American Dream?


wow DB! we were having a similar thought here.

que twilight zone music


Synchronicity... I also meant to add that both the Shark and the Whale were rented... things that you cannot keep or hold on to for very long with a price to pay if you do.


yes Synchornicity...............

And the shark is a predator, a scary, scary predator, most sea animals do well to stay away from it.

the whale, well some of them, are plankton feeders. not harming other creatures in the sea.
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Unread postby shame_about_rasins » Thu Sep 29, 2005 11:55 pm

Raven wrote:
dharma_bum wrote:
Raven wrote:
dharma_bum wrote:These symbols aren't nearly as mythic as the desert, but the Shark and the Whale are certainly a living breathing characters in both the book and movie. A shark of course is dangerous, stealthy, fast, sleek and lethal which accounts for the freewheeling confidence of our boys during the Mint assignment. The shark escapes unscathed… is this meant to be symbolic of the optimistic side of the "long fine flash" of the 60s?

Then of course there is the Whale. A whale is a smart but slow moving, bloated creature who was headed for extinction in the early 70’s. The Whale of course gets battered beyond recognition without having any of the fun…. The death of the American Dream?


wow DB! we were having a similar thought here.

que twilight zone music


Synchronicity... I also meant to add that both the Shark and the Whale were rented... things that you cannot keep or hold on to for very long with a price to pay if you do.


yes Synchornicity...............

And the shark is a predator, a scary, scary predator, most sea animals do well to stay away from it.

the whale, well some of them, are plankton feeders. not harming other creatures in the sea.

The whale and the shark are both very large creatures, and are both from the sea which is for the greater part UNKOWN or MYSTERIOUS.
before he came down it never snowed.........

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Unread postby Still-Rather-Timid » Fri Sep 30, 2005 12:08 am

I'm still can't figure out what all those bars of Neutrogena symbolize--although it's supposed to be transparent.

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Unread postby Raven » Fri Sep 30, 2005 12:21 am

Still-Rather-Timid wrote:I'm still can't figure out what all those bars of Neutrogena symbolize--although it's supposed to be transparent.


lets see, there were alot of them, they got them from the maids, they did not use them all, soap makes you clean, Gonzo left them, Hunter was stuck with them.

anything else?

Ravem
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Unread postby bluebird » Fri Sep 30, 2005 12:36 am

I'm going out on a limb here, but S-R-T and Raven ~~
Do you think all those Neutrogena bars could just be .......
free bars of soap?! No symbolizism at all????? :-?
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Unread postby Sands » Fri Sep 30, 2005 8:27 am

Nice one bluebird :biglaugh:
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Unread postby suec » Fri Sep 30, 2005 2:13 pm

I think the bars of soap symbolize two things. Certainly greed. They amass the bars of soap that they don't need and which are soon discarded, by Gonzo at any rate. These two take the helping themsleves to the freebies to extremes, as with other things, for even something as small as bars of soap.

I also think that they might symbolize innocence, or more precisely, the "innocents" that they encounter during the course of the story. The hitchhiker who has never been in a car like that before, and who makes a sharp exit from it as fast as he can; the "Okies" who are scandalised by Gonzo offering them heroine while they are driving along; the police officer who is fed a ridiculous story after the conference and is so horrified. Then there is the treatment of the women. The girl in the lift. Lucy. The old woman. OK so she was up for a story about easy money - but gullible. There's a bit where Duke is on his own and sees some young girls and thinks better of making some lewd remarks to them. Maybe because he is on his own, maybe because he's sated with it all at that point. (I can't find the passage now to reflect some more on it.) Innocence is a relative thing, but these characters are, compared to this pair.

On the other hand, I liked the bit where Duke's savvy persona slips when he is confounded by the traffic cop. The knowing cynicism doesn't cut it there. I liked the pride-before-a-fall moment. I think probably that between them, he and Gonzo exhibit all of the deadly sins.
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Unread postby fansmom » Fri Sep 30, 2005 2:29 pm

bluebird wrote:I'm going out on a limb here, but S-R-T and Raven ~~
Do you think all those Neutrogena bars could just be .......
free bars of soap?! No symbolizism at all????? :-?
bluebird
Since it's the soap I use every day, I'm with you, bluebird! :lol:

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Unread postby Liz » Fri Sep 30, 2005 2:32 pm

Still-Rather-Timid wrote: I've even been seeing a vague similarity between the enormous eyes of Eckleburg and the opportunity that "for just 99 cents your likeness will appear, two-hundred feet tall, on a screen above downtown Las Vegas" (p. 47). So I guess for a few moments anyone can have the God's-eye view of Eckleburg, brooding over the wasteland.

I've been so busy at school this week that I haven't had time to post, but I'm catching up on what everyone's written, and will add my two cents here and there. I miss this place!


Good catch, SRT. I hadn't thought of that one. I love it!

And I can't believe I missed all these posts this morning. It wasn't clear to me that anybody had responded since yesterday afternoon. LOL. I guess I'm losing it. So now I'm catching up.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Sep 30, 2005 2:37 pm

fansmom wrote:
bluebird wrote:I'm going out on a limb here, but S-R-T and Raven ~~
Do you think all those Neutrogena bars could just be .......
free bars of soap?! No symbolizism at all????? :-?
bluebird
Since it's the soap I use every day, I'm with you, bluebird! :lol:


Me too. That isn't something I thought I would ever have in common with Hunter. :lol:
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Unread postby Liz » Fri Sep 30, 2005 2:40 pm

suec wrote:I think the bars of soap symbolize two things. Certainly greed. They amass the bars of soap that they don't need and which are soon discarded, by Gonzo at any rate. These two take the helping themsleves to the freebies to extremes, as with other things, for even something as small as bars of soap.


I was thinking about this today, Suec--not the bars of soap per se (although that makes sense too) but the room service tab. He takes that to the extreme--a way of juxtaposing that against the profit hungry casinos.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby JD101 » Fri Sep 30, 2005 6:14 pm

Ok... that's all well and good... but what's with the ape/gorilla?

Does it represent man making a beast of himself? He wants that ape! And I don't remember, (because I didn't actually re-read the book for this :blush: ) ... was the ape in the desert, as it is in the movie? The one that says you can run but you can't hide across it's chest?
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Unread postby Raven » Fri Sep 30, 2005 6:16 pm

Liz wrote:
suec wrote:I think the bars of soap symbolize two things. Certainly greed. They amass the bars of soap that they don't need and which are soon discarded, by Gonzo at any rate. These two take the helping themsleves to the freebies to extremes, as with other things, for even something as small as bars of soap.


I was thinking about this today, Suec--not the bars of soap per se (although that makes sense too) but the room service tab. He takes that to the extreme--a way of juxtaposing that against the profit hungry casinos.


and then they don't pay the tab.....
"In my experience, those who do not like you fall into two categories: the stupid

and the envious."

John Wilmot, the 2nd Earl of Rochester in The Libertine by Stephen Jeffreys

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Unread postby DeppLovesBananahs » Fri Sep 30, 2005 6:26 pm

I wanted to add that I showed my Brad Pitt-loving English teacher today the Wave Speech. I deemed this approtiate because currently we are reading/studying the Scarlet Letter. Which essentially is a symbol of wrong doing, if you've never read it, don't. Just kidding. I haven't begun reading it, yet, but I heard bad reviews from the student population. This only makes me want to read FALILV instead of Hawthorne's book.

My english teacher said and I quote "that's really neat" about the Wave Speech. I don't think she completely got it, but if I sat down and took the time to explain to her the whole purpose behind FALILV, and the Wave Speech, she would be better off than she is now. Poor Brad Pitt-ified soul. :-/

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