Hunter S. Thomson's 'The Rum Diary'

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In our society we are constantly compared to one another based on wealth, intelligence, and physical appearance. It has become a standard that we should keep up with the Jones’s. For men gender roles portray that a man should always be in charge, be the head of the household, and take care of his responsibilities. In Hunter S. Thomson’s novel “The Rum Diary” we see great examples of men who do not follow these gender roles. When men do not follow the normal gender roles set out for them they are perceived as lazy, drunks, and irresponsible. The narrator of “The Rum Diary” is a freelance journalist named Paul Kemp. Paul moves from New York to Puerto Rico to take on a new job working as a journalist for the “The Daily News”. This new adventure doesn’t seem to be a new thrilling…show more content…
Just after arriving he states “On my way back from the library I wondered how long I would last in San Juan – how long before I’d be labeled a “Weasel” or a “Pervert” (27). Here we see Paul has already belittled his goals and put a time line on his success. In another scene Paul is lusting about his co-workers relationship with a women and states, “The scene I just witnessed brought back a lot of memories – not of the things I had done but of the things I failed to do” (37). Paul talks about he has seemingly wasted his whole life away and don’t nothing. We learn in the novel that he is in fact only in his thirties. Seeing this relationship makes him feel like a failure for never being married. The role of a man according to society makes us think if we are not married and settled down in our thirties we have done something wrong, or failed in some way. Paul talks about his failures when he is reminiscing about his life when he was in his twenties saying, “But I remembered it now and it made me feel old and slightly nervous that I had done so little in so long a time” (37). This speaks to how Paul feels

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