The Prohibition, A Theme In F. Scott´S Fitzgerald´S The Great Gatsby

1370 words - 6 pages

In the 1920s, prohibition, the ban on alcohol is in full force in order to better society, alcohol was seen as the corrupter of people’s judgement. Ironically prohibition caused society to decay, despite the many boons happening at the time. Beneath the seemingly prosperous country lies corruption, inequality, and despair. The corruption is so obvious, that author F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote a book on this subject called The Great Gatsby. His main character, Jay Gatsby, spent his whole life trying to become rich enough to win the heart of a now married Daisy. He became rich by bootlegging, selling alcohol illegally. In the end, he ultimately didn't win Daisy’s heart. She instead stayed with ...view middle of the document...

Myrtle Wilson arguably had it worse than her own husband; while she may not realize it, Tom treated her like a very pampered dog. As seen at the end of chapter 2 where Myrtle tells Nick how she met Tom, her relationship with Tom is defined by this statement, “I’m going to make a list of all the things I’ve got to get.” (Fitzgerald, 41) All the things in that list are bought by Tom with his own money for Myrtle. Despite of all this, she still lives with George Wilson in an broken down garage, which meant Tom didn’t give her enough money to move out; thus, allowing Tom to manipulate her. To further cement Myrtle’s “dog” status, “Tom Buchanan and Mrs. Wilson stood face to face discussing in impassioned voices whether Mrs. Wilson had any right to mention Daisy’s name.” Myrtle is so far the only character not allowed to say Daisy’s name in front of Tom, which meant Tom sees Myrtle as a lower life form. Nick who is lower class than Tom is at least treated a little more fairly, mainly because they were friends in college and are cousins-in-law.
At the end of the novel, Fitzgerald shows Tom and Daisy ruining other people’s lives carelessly. Nick, when reflecting on Gatsby’s death, realized that, “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy-they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made…” (Fitzgerald, 187-188) Among the lives they have ruined, Gatsby is the most prominent. When Nick got to know Gatsby better, he learned that Gatsby wants to rekindle his relationship with Daisy. When Daisy inadvertently revealed she and Gatsby had an affair in front of Tom, he confronts Gatsby at a plaza hotel. Tom proceeds to ruin his chances with Daisy by revealing Gatsby’s bootlegging and controlling his past with Daisy, in front of Nick and Jordan. Daisy almost immediately ran back to Tom’s side since she knew that she had to leave her old life to live with Gatsby, showing that she doesn’t care about other people’s feelings. The next day Nick talked to Gatsby, and he figured out that, “Gatsby himself didn’t believe [Daisy’s call] would come and perhaps he no longer cared. If that was true he must have felt that he had lost the old warm world, paid a high price for living too long with a single dream.” (Fitzgerald, 169) Gatsby is very much like Wilson at this point, both are broken when their love interests leaves them for Tom Buchanan. Nick is however a different case on his interactions with the Buchanans. Nick is Daisy’s cousin and the one who bought Daisy and Gatsby back together. However because Nick is a family member of the Buchanans, they...

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