Francis Scott Fitzgerald published his novel The Great Gatsby, in 1925, which chronicles the lives of Jay Gatsby and Nick Carraway in the summer of 1922. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel takes place in the fictional West Egg, Long Island and has occasional mentions of New York City. In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald displays the Roaring Twenties, also known as the Jazz Age, accurately through the Prohibition, corruption, parties, and his characters.
The Prohibition began in 1920 when the 18th amendment was added to the United States Constitution, banning the manufacture, transportation, and sale of liquor (Prohibition). This amendment was enforced by the government appointed Prohibition Commissioner John F. Kramer in 1921. John F. Kramer soon had over 3,000 agents working for him, but enforcement of the 18th amendment failed because agents had low salaries and could easily be bribed (The Main Political and Social Challenges Facing America). These agents worked to stop the producers of liquor called moonshiners, the distributors called bootleggers, and the retail establishments called speakeasies from selling and profiting from illegal liquor.
A large problem in the enforcement of the 18th amendment was doctors could prescribe “medicinal alcohol” and a bribe could easily get a bootlegger a prescription. In The Great Gatsby, Meyer Wolfsheim is a well known gangster teaches Jay Gatsby how to become rich by setting up drug stores (Fitzgerald, F. Scott). Gatsby and Wolfsheim’s drugstores legally received alcohol for medicinal purposes, but illegally sold it to speakeasies through bootlegging. With the amount of illegal business and trade happening many politicians became corrupt through bribes and other scandals.
Across America, crime rose with gangsters bribing police officers, judges, and politicians to turn a blind eye to the purchase and sale of illegal liquor. Warren Harding’s presidency during the Prohibition Era was filled with corruption and bribery and is considered the most corrupt...