Essay On Crime And Corruption In The Great Gatsby

1135 Words 5 Pages
The old saying goes, it is only illegal if you get caught. Throughout the 1920’s, organized crime leaders took this to the extreme thus, violence and corruption increased rampantly. While many straightforward Americans viewed the American dream as a stable economic state some viewed it as a method to get rich quick. The corruption of this era rose to unparalleled heights with some people losing faith in police officers, judges, and anyone in government. Prohibition only added to the chaos of the decade, with many ordinary citizens becoming criminals simply because they wished to consume alcohol. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby, precisely illustrates the corruption of the 1920’s and the demise of people’s hope in the American …show more content…
Meyer Wolfsheim represents the corruption that the organized crime outfits both participated in and caused. During a drive, Gatsby and Nick are being pulled over by the police, then Gatsby, “Takes a white card from his wallet, and waves it before the man’s eyes…”Right you are”, agreed the policeman, tipping his cap.”Know you next time, Mr. Gatsby. Excuse me!” (Fitzgerald 68). Gatsby clearly pays off the police in order to not be bothered by them, thus leading to them being corrupt. Meyer Wolfsheim is also being referenced when Nick states, “I remember of course, that the World’s Series had been fixed in 1919…” (Fitzgerald 73). This is explaining the staggering facts that Nick cannot believe because of the reach the organized crime members have during this time. Many people believe during this time that baseball was one of the few events that simply could not be corrupt and further lead to the demise of the hope in the lifestyle that these events create. Evidently, the rise of organized crime in The Great Gatsby, is a major complication being represented by Meyer …show more content…
Gatsby partakes in the corruption that is caused in this era, and the side effects of it. Nick is told this fact while Tom egotistically states, “He and this Wolfshiem bought up alot of side street drugstores here and in Chicago and sold grain alcohol over the counter” (Fitzgerald 133). Evidently, Tom has proven to Nick that the reason Gatsby is rich is because he is a bootlegger and sells alcohol illegally. Another reason the Prohibition was a major problem to the American Dream is only those who had money could participate. During Gatsby’s parties, alcohol was present, thus leading to the fact that only those with status and wealth could participate freely in drinking. Even more so, at a party Nick witnesses, “a bottle of whiskey-a second one- was now in constant demand by all present…” (Fitzgerald 35). This then adds to the constant factor of inequality that rich people of the East Egg and West Eggs can drink without hindrance from the law. As can be seen, the ability to drink alcohol without interference from law enforcement was only accessible by a select

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