Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72 Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What is significant about Hunter S. Thompson's description of himself?

Thompson does not provide himself with a particularly flattering description. He admits to being something of a freak and, although he cuts back on his drug intake, he still indulges frequently in alcohol and marijuana. For him, it is important that the readers are all made aware of this, as it not only explains his behavior, but also his tendencies to work up to and after a deadline.

2. In the Introduction, how does Thompson explain his drug use?

Thompson tells readers to imagine a person who spends a good portion of his time stoned, but with no consequences for his behavior. In his mind, that individual would be permanently affected and at times his behavior may be a little "off."

3. Describe the different votes Thompson discusses in "January."

Thompson, in one of the first chapters, discusses the breakdown of voters as seen by American politicians. One of the strangest sectors is the youth vote, as politicians frequently look down upon this sector. In their opinion, the youth vote used to take its cues from the voting patterns of their elders and has only recently been seen as a highly-sought after demographic. The other vote is from the African-American population. This is the first indication in the book that the Democratic party is still suffering from the murders of John F. and Robert Kennedy, as their family was and remains a champion of civil rights.

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