Prohibition In The Great Gatsby Essay

1843 Words8 Pages
In America, during the nineteenth century, alcohol was a large part of the culture. However many people began to realize that constant drinking was not healthy, and that drunkenness had a huge a big negative effect on everyone. Many people therefore began to support the idea of temperance. Temperance was the idea that alcohol should only be consumed in moderation. What started out as just as a moral idea, quickly became a huge deal in politics. Soon laws were being conceived that would keep people from drinking. But the liquor business was a huge part of the economy, and many people still opposed prohibition. By 1919, 33 states had already enacted their own form of prohibition. And that same year, the Eighteenth Amendment was passed, banning…show more content…
It gives Gatsby a way to obtain his wealth. He sold liquor, and it made him rich. This was only possible through alcohol being illegal. Also Gatsby’s parties were so popular pretty much one reason: alcohol. People flocked to his parties because they were not only lavish, but flowing with free liquor. Nick also mentions that in one section that he is drunk for the first time in years, likely because he didn’t have easy access to liquor. Those are just some of the surface things. One could make a case that the whole attitude of the book was influenced by the Prohibition. The citizens seem free to do whatever they want, in that they throw ridiculous parties and throw many fits and tantrums that can turn violent. They often act like children. Is this a result of the Law’s decreasing fear upon American citizens? Perhaps the fact that alcohol was more often reserved for special occasions made it seem like a luxury, and that drinking, in a way, made you feel wealthy. So no longer was drinking a casual thing to do, it was something that you did when you were having the time of your life. And that’s how the world revolved more around alcohol than it ever did before. It was responsible for almost all of Gatsby’s wealth and his parties. People always wanted to go party, and drink their sorrows

More about Prohibition In The Great Gatsby Essay

Open Document