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Prohibition Essay

By leslymguerrero Feb 18, 2014 539 Words

Prohibition is the practice of strictly prohibiting the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcoholic beverages, including liquors, wines, and beers ( In the book the Great Gatsby written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, he shows how prohibition impacted the novel.

During the period of 1920-1933, it was common for an average citizen to break the law just because of prohibition. Since alcohol was banned throughout the U.S, it led to bootlegging. Bootlegging is the make, distribute, or selling or goods illegally ( Many large cities became targets and known for having smuggled alcohol. The court cases of James Everard’s Breweries V.Day, Prohibition Director of New York, et al. Edward & John Burke, Limited, v. Blair, Commissioner of Internal Revenue, et al. it had to do with bootlegging alcohol. The major point of the court case was figuring out whether the Prohibition Act of November 23, 1921 was constitutional or not ( Throughout the case, it explained the definition of prohibition and how the act was used to end intoxication. October 1921, Attorney General tried to issue a permit for the manufacture of alcohol liquors for medical purposes. By November, Congress passed the Supplemental Act that states liquor can be used for medical purposes. On the second court case, it was a British corporation which engaged in bottling an distributing an intoxicating malt liquor known as Guinness’s Stout ( Early of November, 1921, Congress had refused to have stout, a kind of strong, dark beer brewed with roasted malt or barley (, be sold for medicinal purposes. While both cases did have Prohibition in common, they did have different outcomes.

In The Great Gatsby written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, it shows clearly how Prohibition and Bootlegging impacted the novel. The novel was set in the early 1920s when the Prohibition Act was in full effect. Also it was just after World Word 1 and alcoholic beverages were outlawed ( The reason why prohibition was impacted to the novel was because Gatsby practiced bootlegging. With having Gatsby smuggling alcohol, he soon got rich and got out of the poor class. Throughout the book, there are multiple scenes where you see the characters drinking expensive champagne. Chapter 3 of The Great Gatsby, in the party at Gatsby’s house, there were guests drinking. “I had taken two finger bowls of champagne and the scene had changed before my eyes into something significant, elemental and profound”, (Chapter 3, page 53, line 4). Despite having alcoholic beverages being illegal, it showed that as if the rich did not apply to the law, it did not affect them. Throughout the novel, it would seem as if Fitzgerald actually did not care about the topic Prohibition. Since most of the characters were drinking in the novel, especially during the time where prohibition has been in full effect, it showed how much they didn’t care. Prohibition ended in December 5, 1933 when the 21st Amendment was passed which repealed the 18th Amendment. The 21st Amendment stated that “state and local prohibition no longer required by law” (

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