Prohibition In The Great Gatsby Essay

786 Words4 Pages
Prohibition banned the manufacturing, transporting and selling of liquor. But because of the illegality of alcohol, many effects came from the ban including bootlegging, speakeasies and gang violence. Alcohol was illegal during the Prohibition, but it was not eliminated from the homes and speakeasies of Americans. Moonshiners were illegal producers of alcohol, who sold their liquor to bootleggers who were illegal distributers, who sold the liquor to speakeasies, which were illegal retail establishments. Even though the prohibition had more good outcomes then bad, the Great Gatsby portrayed both the effects of the Prohibition through the main characters actions and the extravagant parties that were held. Jay Gatsby flaunts his generous…show more content…
Tom “found out what [Gatsby’s] ‘drug-stores’ were… he and this Wolfsheim bought up a lot of side-street drug-stores here and in Chicago and sold grain alcohol over the counter” (133). Tom accuses Gatsby of earning his new money through bootlegging. Bootlegging was another major effect of the Prohibition; bootlegging made and sold alcohol illegally and because there could be a lot of money made during this time, gangsters took over the bootlegging business (Twenties). However, some bootleggers were not violent; they used seaports and border towns to smuggle the alcohol (Rogers). Nick believes that he “wouldn’t have been surprised to see sinister faces, the faces of “Wolfsheim’s people,” behind [Gatsby] in the dark shrubbery” of the Buchanan’s house (143). The Prohibition increased the number of people involved in organized crime. These organized crime groups used violence and bribery to reach their goals of monopoly or getting the most territory. Bootlegging was supplied using trucks, drivers, mechanics, garages, warehouses, bookkeepers and lawyers; without one the organized crime would not have been such an accomplishment (Shumsky). Wolfsheim could have been the major influence of Daisy’s reaction opinion of Gatsby from Great Gatsby to a

More about Prohibition In The Great Gatsby Essay

Open Document