Forbidden Love In The Great Gatsby

1604 words - 6 pages

Many people in the 1920s lived very extravagant lives. The time of the “Jazz Age” or the “Roaring 20s” where girls were flappers and the men were bootleggers. People loved to have fun and be carefree. However, alcohol dependence was becoming a problem and many started realizing that. Taking action to stop this was the hard part. Alcohol was corrupting the 1920s even though some did not recognize it. In the Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald displays the corruption during the 1902s through his main character, Jay Gatsby, and his illustration of prohibition.
Prohibition was a long period of time in U.S. history that lasted nearly fourteen years. The manufacturing, transportation, and sale of liquor was made completely illegal. The period of time known as the prohibition led to the first and only time that an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was repealed. Prohibition was also known as the “Noble Experiment”. Intoxicating liquors were outlawed and many people were very upset about this. Speakeasies, glamor, and gangsters came up in this time and characterized this period in history. Even the most average citizen was known to break the law (Rosenberg). After the American Revolution drinking was definitely on the rise and most people did it. According to Burns and Novick, Prohibition turned law-abiding citizens into criminals, made a mockery of the justice system, caused illicit drinking to seem glamorous and fun (PBS).
The intention of making the manufacturing, transportation, and sale of liquor illegal was to improve the lives of all Americans, to protect families, individuals, and society as a whole from the dangerous affects of alcohol abuse (Burns). This caused many faith driven Americans to rethink their morality and the definition. Prohibition did not help as much as the people that enforced it thought it would. Instead the “drys” had their law, while the “wets” had their liquor (Novick). Many relevant questions were brought up questioning the idea of prohibition. What about individual rights and responsibilities? What is the proper role of the government? Who is and who is not a real American? Alcohol dependence was not a problem that just came about. People’s dependence on alcohol was a growing problem in the U.S. for over a century before Prohibition even came into affect. Drinking was not a new thing. According to Tori Avey in her article a constitutional amendment to make alcohol sales and production illegal became a law in 1920. This was the start of the Prohibition.
Because drinking was on the rise, a number of societies were created as part of a new Temperance movement. The movements first urged moderation, then encouraged drinkers to ultimately help each other and resist temptation (Burns, Novick). These new movements attempted to dissuade people from being intoxicated on a regular basis. These movements were mostly filled with women and their children because the men were usually the ones drinking. These temperance movements...

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