The Jazz Age in the Great Gatsby

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The Jazz Age in The Great Gatsby
Throughout literature, the 1920s are depicted in several ways; F. Scott Fitzgerald, the author of The Great Gatsby, displays the 1920s in his novel. Authors parallel different aspects of this time period into their works through characters, settings, and plots. Using this in writing helps readers understand history and changes over time. Many immoral behaviors caused people to become involved in bootlegging, gambling, and prostitution in the 1920s. These actions revolve around money and the need for money during this time period. Bootlegging and prostitution were not only immoral, but they are also crimes. Gambling, on the other hand, was used throughout casinos as a hobby, but this American tradition became corrupted over time when it got involved in important aspects of society. All of these factors contribute into Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. The characters he creates are involved in these immoral behaviors. Overall, all of these actions in this decade are considered morally wrong and are discouraged. Throughout Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, the 1920s are well portrayed through behaving in immoral ways, bootlegging, and gambling. The 1920s consisted of immoral behavior expressed in many different ways. Immoral behaviors began during this time period because of the Prohibition affecting the government. The government created this act to decrease the crime rates in America; but instead, they had to handle with new crimes that began to occur. Prohibition included the Volstead Act, which prohibited the manufacturing and selling of alcohol in the United States. The banning of alcohol forced people to smuggle alcohol from other countries. Also, bars and other places shadily sold illegal alcoholic beverages, which became very popular throughout the country. The smuggling and distribution of illegal alcohol is known as bootlegging. Also, people also began producing their own alcohol to sell to anyone willing to pay a large sum of money. This process became very lucrative to the producers, and bootlegging became a very popular industry throughout America (Moss and Wilson 147-49). Another profitable behavior many people became engaged in was prostitution. Brothels arose in several bars, cabarets, and saloons throughout America. The police discouraged these actions, so people involved in prostitution arrange secure meeting areas for their escapades. Along with bootlegging and prostitution, gambling also had an effect on the behaviors of the people of the 1920s. Gambling in the 1920s was popular to people who enjoyed betting their money on ridiculous matters that may or may not bring money back. The most popular gambling scandal throughout the sports world of the 1920s was the Black Sox Fix of 1919. The Chicago White Sox had a conspiracy of players who gambled on the 1919 World Series. The eight players involved purposely threw games, giving the series win to the Cincinnati Reds. The White Sox players’ salaries suffered because owner Charles Comiskey “…paid them as poorly as the worst team in the league” (Moss and Wilson 149). No persuasion granted a raise from Comiskey, so the players decided to gamble once again in the hopes of receiving the salary they deserved from Arnold Rothstein, a gambling expert. The plan fell through after evidence was found against the players, and a few of the White Sox players involved in the scam confessed. Gambling was not only popular throughout sports; it was also performed in casinos and clubs located around America (Moss and Wilson 149-50). The 1920s included bootlegging, prostitution, and gambling, and these actions revolved around the want and need for money, which brought corruption into this decade. The characters in Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby involve themselves in immoral actions throughout the novel. The American Dream of the characters consists of their need for wealth and love. Firstly, the characters in the novel are all involved in a type of...
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