The 1920s Prohibition Essay

1088 words - 5 pages

Some people think that drinking can take the edge off their troubles. Gatsby shows that drinking can help with the loneliness also. When he misses Daisy he drinks to take off the edge. Gatsby throws parties to impress Daisy but she never comes. Alcohol plays a huge role at his gatherings. In the Great Gatsby, S. Scott Fitzgerald illustrates the moral decay of the 1920’s despite the U.S. Government’s attempts to control the negative effects of alcohol through the 18th amendment.
Prohibition is the banning the manufacturing and sale of alcohol. It was instituted for many reasons; illness caused by drinking, reduced labor output and social problems. Illness such as sclerosis of the liver was ...view middle of the document...

Gatsby represent new money and was involved in bootlegging. He was able to throw lavish parties with bottomless cocktails. The novel refers to a speakeasy, and selling of possible alcohol at the drug store Gatsby and Wolfshime own together. Gatsby’s parties are a statement to one woman. They are a way in which he can have a big events that will grab his name and will be talked about all over town. The attention he wants is Daisy's. The parties are meant to say to her that he is now financially worthy, that he can afford the ultra wealthy society she is accustomed to.
The demand for alcohol was huge and organized criminals moved to setup gateways to distribute alcohol though speakeasies and private clubs. The gangs had to overcome the local law enforcement to ensure the operation ran smoothly. Sherriff, police and others were paid bribes to look the other way or they became part of the bootlegging business. The gangs tried to secure large territories in which they had a monopoly of distribution. Prohibition also promoted a dangerous pattern of drinking, people would drink less often but consuming large quantities at one time. People didn't go to a speakeasy to sip a drink and relaxed with a meal but to gulp alcohol quickly without food.
Some bootleggers would bottle their own mixtures of liquor, and by the late 1920s stills making liquor from corn had become major suppliers. Some batches containing embalming fluid, methanol and denatured alcohol used as part of the distillation process could be dangerously impure and cause blindness, paralysis, and even death.
Speakeasies were private clubs setup to serve illegal alcohol. According to “Prohibition” in the 1920’s to enter a speakeasies a secret password, handshake or knock was needed. It was a fun relaxing atmosphere with Jazz and people dancing and drinking illegal alcohol. Bootleggers were the only way the speakeasies could get alcohol. The bootleggers would bring the alcohol in strapped to the insides of their boots or in a canvas jacket sewn with pouch that held the bottles of liquor. The bootleggers had a very dangerous job moving alcohol across cities in fear of being caught by law enforcement. Some setup manufacturing in their bathtubs and sold the alcohol they made
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