Prohibition in the Great Gatsby

1355 Words6 Pages
The 1920s were greatly influenced by prohibition. The prohibition law restricted the manufacturing, consumption, transportation, and sale of alcohol. The law was put into effect to lower the crime and corruption rates in the United States in the 1920s. It was also said to reduce social problems and lower taxes. In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald examines the negative repercussions of prohibition on the economy, characters in the Great Gatsby, and on the different social classes of the 1920s. Prohibition was passed to eradicate the demand for liquor but had the inadvertent effect to raise the crime rates in American. Robert Scott stated, “Prohibition was supposed to lower crime and corruption, reduce social problems, lower taxes…show more content…
Organized crime was one of the worst effects of prohibition. Prohibition encouraged ordinary citizens to partake in illegal activities such as bootlegging and consuming alcohol. The citizens were prone to partake in such illegal activity to make a living and earn money much like Gatsby did. Patterson claims “Alcohol sales had created jobs and generated significant tax revenues. And it was not much of a secret that the number of illegal "speakeasies" serving alcohol far outnumbered the number of restaurants and bars that had previously sold alcoholic beverages legally before the ban began in 1920” (Patterson 5). The selling of illegal alcohol made money faster than any normal job did. That is what encouraged people to take part in organized crime and bootlegging. Another significant effect of the prohibition was alcohol poisoning. People began creating new alcoholic concoctions that included more liquor. Drinking was no longer casual. People began to drink whenever they were in the presence of alcohol just because they were aware it was against the law. Instead of drinking casually at gathering, citizens began drinking heavily both in public and in the privacy of their home. The prohibition of alcohol prompted people to consume liquors every chance they got. As the consumption of alcohol raised, so did the health issues. More and more people became ill with alcohol poisoning and liver problems. People began to forget that liquor was detrimental to
Open Document