Laws In The Great Gatsby

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Society and the laws by which it is governed are set by one thing and only one thing; humans. Normal people set and agree upon the laws, and abide by them in their daily lives, but not everyone is a normal person. The laws set by society do not apply to everyone, whether that be by legal exceptions, or just an immense amount of money and power. This is especially touched upon in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book, The Great Gatsby. In the book, Fitzgerald’s depiction of the problems of Tom Buchanan and Jay Gatsby face, and how they handle them relative to the lower class, illustrates that money and status make those who wield it invulnerable to the laws by which the rest of society are held to. Tom Buchanan is the prime example of the evasion of…show more content…
This is shown in how Gatsby’s immense wealth and status help are what help him avoid legal repercussions for his actions. During chapter 4, Gatsby has an interaction with the police while his car is speeding down the highway. Instead of pulling over, Gatsby takes “a white card from his wallet, and waved it before the man’s eyes.” Instead of ticketing the car, the officer instead responds with, “‘Right you are … Know you next time, Mr. Gatsby. Excuse me!’” This is a clear demonstration of how Gatsby is in with the law. The cop wouldn’t waste his time pulling up next to them if they weren’t doing anything wrong, therefore, Gatsby must have something special about him that got him out of the ticket. Any person who didn’t have the money and power that Gatsby had would have been pulled over. Plus, it’s also suspected that Gatsby’s money wasn’t even legal, as Tom accuses him in chapter 7 as a bootlegger, saying “He and this Wolfsheim bought up a lot of side-street drug stores … and sold grain alcohol over the counter” (133). This is during the age of prohibition, so bootlegging is a federal crime, which is even more proof that Gatsby has no respect for following the law. However, not every person can benefit from these
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