Achieving Dreams Illegally

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The 1920s was a decade when a lot of crime was taking place in America. Many people felt the need to get involved in organized crime because of restrictions going on at the time, like prohibition. People usually committed crimes in order to achieve a goal for themselves. There were many cases of specific people and even characters who were famous for their involvement in organized crime during the 1920s. One of these characters was Jay Gatsby from The Great Gatsby. The author, F. Scott Fitzgerald, may have even based this character after one of the most well-known organized criminals of the time. Jay Gatsby becomes involved in crime to try and win over the love of his life, who he had left five years back. In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald portrays the negative aspects of the 1920s, specifically organized crime, to prove that Jay Gatsby’s dream was not even possible because he sought it through immoral means.
Some people felt the need to become involved in organized crime because of the laws that were being put into play at this time. According to Bob Batchelor in Gatsby: The Cultural History of the Great American Novel, the Eighteenth Amendment was passed in January 1919. This law made it illegal to manufacture, transport, import, or sell alcohol in the United States. Also known as Prohibition, this caused many people to become involved in organized crimes. Batchelor goes on to say that the people involved in these crimes like making or selling alcohol were called bootleggers, Jay Gatsby being an example of one (Batchelor 157). Just because there was a law against alcohol, it did not stop people from drinking it.
Despite the amendment that tried to ban alcohol in the United States, people still found ways...

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...m again. The reader comes to find out that his American dream is not possible because he never realized the difference between his and Daisy’s money. Daisy has moved on and does not want to be involved with someone who has earned their money illegally. Hard work pays off, and one can achieve their goals if done in the right way, as in the case of Nick Carraway.

Works Cited

Batchelor, Bob. Gatsby: The Cultural History of the Great American Novel. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014. Print.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. New York: Collier Books, 1991. Print.
Lehan, Richard. The Great Gatsby: Limits of Wonder. Boston: Twane Publishers, 1990. Print.
Pauly, Thomas H. Readings on The Great Gatsby. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, Inc., 1998. Print.
Wyly, Michael J. Understanding The Great Gatsby. San Diego: Lucent Books, Inc., 2002. Print.
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