Effects Of Alcohol In The Great Gatsby

Superior Essays
The Great Gatsby is a novel written by Francis Scott Fitzgerald that takes place during the time of Prohibition. Prohibition is a time period in American History where alcohol is prohibited from being manufactured, sold, and consumed. Even though this was an amendment to the constitution many people chose freely to go against this law. The effects from this are illegally selling alcohol for profit. Jay Gatsby is a main character in the novel; he illegally sells and manufactures alcohol and also has parties that have very good reputation in the West and East Egg neighborhoods. The writer of The Great Gatsby has a negative experience with alcohol and it’s effects. He uses these negative effects to emphasize the characters in the novel and their …show more content…
This time period lasted from the years 1920-1933. The idea behind this amendment to the constitution was to reduce the amount of alcohol consumed in the United States (Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History 1066). The government viewed the amount of alcohol being consumed as a “bad temptation”, so they came to a decision to ban it altogether (Novels 75). The National Prohibition Party felt alcohol was a negative influence on family life and personal life also (Novels 73). This is because of alcohol’s affect on the brain and the way it impairs judgement and decisions made after the consumption of alcohol. During this time period Republicans preferred the prohibiting of alcohols because they felt people would gain more from life without it (Gale 1064). This time period caused many underground industries and illegal sale of alcohol (Novels). “it (Prohibition) had many negative economic effects, fostering a large black market of illicit alcohol producers and distributors, destroying the brewing and distilling industries, and reducing government revenue from taxation on alcohol” (Gale 1064). Prohibition itself caused illegal selling and manufacturing of alcohol, caused people to lose their jobs in the brewing and distilling industry, and made an impact in the government’s income concerning taxes. The Great Depression and other things led to the …show more content…
Many Americans were against Prohibition, so by rebelling they began to drink liquor illegally. This started the movement of speakeasies and bootlegging (Britannica). Speakeasies are organized gatherings in which alcohol could be consumed illegally, like nightclubs. This is very similar to the type of parties Gatsby had at his mansion. Speakeasies and Gatsby’s parties would attract the kind of people that would just be likely to drop by without an invitation. Bootlegging is making, selling, or distributing alcohol illegally and, “millions of Americans were willing to drink liquor illegally which gave rise to bootlegging and speakeasies, capitalized upon by organized crime” (Britannica). Gatsby himself earned his fortune by bootlegging during the era of Prohibition, so he took part in the organized crime. Tom says to Gatsby in Chapter seven, “I found out what your ‘drug stores’ were. He turned to us and spoke rapidly.” Nick thinks, “He and Wolfsheim brought up a lot of side-street drug-stores here and in Chicago and sold grain alcohol. That’s one of his little stunts. I picked him for a bootlegger the first time I saw him, I wasn’t far from wrong” (Fitzgerald 133). Wolfsheim and Gatsby were partners; Nick questions Wolfsheim after Jay Gatsby’s death, “Did you start him in business?” Wolfsheim responds, “Start him! I made him… ‘Right off he did some work for a

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