How Did F Scott Fitzgerald Use Prohibition In The Great Gatsby

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The roaring twenties had a lot to offer for America, but the Prohibition Act seemed to put a damper on things. From the surface, that is. Prohibition was largely ineffectual, with poor enforcement, organizations against the act, parties with illegal alcohol, and bootleg alcohol all over the market. The laws seemed to do little to nothing to help stop America from manufacturing, distributing, and ultimately drinking alcohol. This can be seen in the twenties, not only in history, but in the great literature of the time period. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald highlights the lives of the wealthy, which includes drinking without a second thought towards the law, lavish drinking parties, speakeasies, and a large scale bootlegging operation. …show more content…

The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald has painted a portrait of the prohibition era, portraying it as a loosely governed time where people, especially the wealthy, drank freely and partied with contraband. In the story, there were many references to alcohol, one with Tom Buchanan, his mistress, and a few friends in which there were two bottles of whiskey in circulation among the group (Fitzgerald 35). It can be assumed that the alcohol was easily obtained, seeing as the characters are freely passing it around without a second of thought. It is also important to note that the characters are wealthy, as alcohol’s price increased dramatically due to the legal risk involved in manufacture and distribution (Miron). Another instance of violation of the prohibition laws that can be seen in the book is Jay Gatsby’s first party. The reader can see that the party was buzzing and drinks were being handed out to everyone present (Fitzgerald 40). The serving of alcohol was so blatant, it makes it hard for the reader to not see it throughout the description of the party, yet there is nothing written of police coming to seize any of the alcohol present. However, with having so much contraband and so much wealth, throughout the book people suspected Gatsby of being a bootlegger (Fitzgerald 51). The people at his parties would talk about being a young success and assuming that meant he must be a bootlegger (Fitzgerald 107). This also proves people were absolutely aware of prohibition and deliberately breaking the laws. Behind the suspicion, the reader finds a truth. It is revealed in The Great Gatsby that Gatsby himself is a large scale bootlegger involved in an operation using drug stores as a front for illegal alcohol distribution (Fitzgerald 133). Gatsby’s bootlegging seems to be very similar to George Remus in that they used drug stores as fronts and were in

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