Organized Crime In F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

1046 Words 5 Pages
Crime in The Great Gatsby The 1920s was a time of American decadence and demoralization. Soldiers returning from the war were often disillusioned and the American Dream took on a new meaning; not one of communal prosperity and accomplishment, but one of wealth and affluence. “The first direction in which wealth injures the nation is a moral one. Money replaces honour and adventure as the objective of the best young men. Moreover, men do not normally seek to make money for their country or their community, but for themselves.” (Glub 9) The ease in which money can be acquire through an underground market makes the moral consequences of having the crime seem easily justified for the net outcome of the crime itself. People are able to justify …show more content…
All organized criminals capitalize on a market that is created through legislation and adjust as the markets do. One big example of this occurring is the rise of American crime lords during the Prohibition era in 1920 to 1933. People wanted alcohol at a time where alcohol wasn’t to be legally served. ‘public benefactors’ such as Jay Gatsby were willing and able to capitalize from this market. Though organized criminals aren’t only an American problem, many of them can be tied with the American Dream of “becoming successful”. Jay Gatsby, like many gangsters of his time, dressed extravagantly and threw big parties to flaunt his ‘hard-earned’ wealth and to try to make a bigger name for himself.(Beshears 1) Being able to make large sums of money by satisfying a demanding market is a very easy way to get rich quick. This money can be used to buy influence and to expand the supply and capability of the organization to further meet demand. Organized crime often follows this tycoon pattern in which the new blood can quickly thrive on an open underground market. Organized crime syndicates don’t have access to courts to settle disputes between them and often resort to violence …show more content…
It’s mentioned by Tom on page 133 that Gatsby and his partner, Wolfsheim, set up drug stores that sold grain alcohol over the counter. Gatsby is also shown to be a participant in much more intricate white collar crimes, though these are never explicitly stated. We’re led to suspect he’s involved in bond forgery when Nick is called by one of Gatsby’s illegitimate associates about the failed plan. (166) Gatsby also offers Nick insider information on the stock market as a repayment earlier in the novel, though the narrator declines. (83) Throughout the novel, he is constantly badgered and called about his illegitimate business, such as when he is first introduced on page 48. Tom’s confrontation on page 133-34 alludes to these things, saying that he’s “-got something on now that Walter’s afraid to tell me about.” Gatsby resorted to organized crime to achieve his dream of being with Daisy; though through this illegitimate means, he prevented himself from ever seeing his dream bear fruit. (Hays

Related Documents