Throughout the years America has had many symbolic icons that have influenced its change. In the late 20th century one man by the name of Hunter S. Thompson made a big impact on American society. Hunter S. Thompson with his writings, satirical humor, and his strong political beliefs caused changes in our society. Through his journalism he criticized society on topics from consumerism to politics. He fought desperately for civil liberties and encouraged people to vote and get involved.
American culture has always been influecened by great people who were not recognized for war or saving peoples lives but for fighting for better funding for schools and for civil rights. Although Hunter S. Thompson never fought in any wars he was a American icon for helping the innocent and making people think for themselves. Hunter S. Thompson is best known as Johnny Depp’s character Duke in the film Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. In this movie, based on Hunter S. Thompson’s book, Duke comes to terms with the failure of the cultural movement of the 60’s.
Duke realizes that the movement from the 60’s to the 70’s lost its innocence and purpose. No one cared about civil rights or the war or Nixon anymore. The sense of achievement and that they were right was long gone. The movement just turned into an excuse to cause riots to loot O’Connor 2 and to do drugs. In the book Duke and his semolina lawyer are reckless and destroy many mainstream cultural consumer icons. They wreck hotel rooms and destroy cars almost to mock how materialistic the people in America really are. They criticize consumers and take advantage of many people in the book.
In Las Vegas they try to search for the American dream but by the end of the movie they end up like most people in Las Vegas trying to achieve the same thing, broke in a dinner and a realization occurs that the American dream is not for everyone. What could be more American than this? This is just like the journey of the many Americans going out west in the early 1800’s to find gold. Even though many were unsuccessful they could try something else and still make a living. The ability to try again has been a huge idea to the American dream.
If you weren’t able to succeed at first all you had to do was keep working hard at something and you would be able to make a living. Hunter S. Thompson preached constitutional rights. He fought for civil liberties and was an activist in many groups such as NORML (National organization to reform marijuana laws), NRA (National rifle association), and was co-creator of the Fourth Amendment Foundation. America was founded on the belief that its laws would be just but our founding fathers left us room to change these laws.
There is not one law written in stone and even though amendments are difficult to change it can be done. Any American hero should fight for what they believed in and this is exactly what Hunter S. O’Connor 3 Thompson did. He took a stand on issues and never backed down. He helped people fight in court cases and even had sentences revoked on the basis that the police violated the fourth amendment. In one case there was a women convicted of murder but the police violated her fourth amendment right and Hunter S. Thompson helped her get her case to be dismissed.
Hunter had always been known to be a very outspoken member of society. He even invented his own type of journalism called Gonzo Journalism. It is a type of journalism that is not 100% fact and mixed with stories. This influenced future generations to think for themselves. Hunter S. Thompson wanted a change to happen in our society. He also spoke of his hate of Richard Nixon before the Watergate scandal. He even said in reference to of Nixon’s reelection “Jesus, where will it end? How low do you have to stoop in this country to become president? (Hunter, 300) Many people at the time did not agree with the statement but that never stopped Hunter from speaking his mind. This really is truly American, to get involved and try to make changes happen. Everyone has this opportunity but many don’t take it up. In his book Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail `72 Hunter S. Thompson makes a few statements about the teen vote. How in this country that most politicians don’t even consider them in there views. He wrote how much apathy teens had in politics and urged them to vote. O’Connor 4
Hunter S. Thompson throughout the years has had the heart of an American hero. Some earn there hero card on the battlefield, in the emergency room, or in some other ways but Hunter S. Thompson was a hero because he fought for civil liberties. He wanted a change in society and was not about to sit on the sidelines for Even though many of the activities he did were illegal he never caused harm to anyone. Everyone does break the law from time to time. He will be an American icon and an influence to younger generations for centuries to come.