• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Immorally rich people of the 1920s

Extracts from this document...


The Immorally Rich People of the 1920's In the English dictionary, the words "immoral" and "rich" are not synonyms of one other; but in the 1920's, they unofficially were. As depicted in Fitzgerald's novel "The Great Gatsby" and proven by the history of the USA, the wealthy and powerful people of the 1920's had little or no moral values at all. In the novel "The Great Gatsby", every single character that is rich, is also either very immoral or simply doesn't care. In perfect accordance to "The Great Gatsby", many of the wealthy people in the 1920's, including the three infamous Americans ,Al Capone, Texas Guinan, and Albert Fall, were also very immoral and notorious for their illegal activities. Though their immorality ranged from bootlegging and cheating to downright murder, the rich and powerful people of "The Great Gatsby" and the 1920's were generally a very corrupt and shameless class of society who hid behind their vast fortunes of money whenever the going got tough. The most explicit example of an immorally rich person in the 1920's, is the most infamous gangster in the world: Al Capone. ...read more.


However, not all the corruption and lack of conscience among the wealthy during the 1920's was as blatant as Capone's and the Buchanans'. Texas Guinan, the notorious "Queen of the Underworld" during the 1920's, had never killed anyone. But just because a person hasn't taken another human life certainly does not mean that he/she is a saint. Texas Guinan's immorality was much more subtle, for she was loved by the newspapers and the general public, often said to be a very charming, witty, and intelligent lady. But nevertheless, Texas Guinan was still a criminal, having made her fortune through bootlegging, maintained through mobster connections and support. When the police would come down hard on Texas' nightclubs/speakeasies and arrest her, Texas merely paid the hefty bails through her vast amounts of money, and went back to managing her many nightclubs. This subtle type of immorality is described several times in "The Great Gatsby", most notably, of Jordan Baker's little scandal in a big golf tournament. In the quote (p.62) "The thing approached the proportions of a scandal -then died away. ...read more.


This quote, by Jay Gatsby, implies to the reader that the police commissioner was involved in some sort of illegal business, since Gatsby's one and only profession was completely illegal. Thus, the rich and powerful characters of Jay Gatsby and the city's police commissioner are both immoral and dishonest characters involved in illegal business, proving that immorality existed among all ranks of the rich and powerful people, regardless of whether or not they were bootleggers, or city police commissioners. Both the police commissioner and the US politician Albert Fall were very rich and influential men, and the consequences of their immorality in the 1920's, were very small. The 1920's was a time of very little moral values, with the rich and powerful people being the most prime examples of this immorality. In the novel "The Great Gatsby", one main theme and focus of the novel is upon the lack of moral values openly displayed by wealthy people, who are able to fortify themselves from accusations of immorality with their endless amounts of cash. The three infamous American persons of Al Capone, Texas Guinan, and Albert Fall, are perfect examples of the Fitzgerald's theme of immorality among the rich and powerful in the 1920's. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE USA 1919-1941 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE USA 1919-1941 essays

  1. To what extent did America roar in the 1920s?

    Whilst life in the 1920s might have 'roared' for some rich, white, middle-class women, other did not benefit at all. The majority of black women were farmers in the Deep South and the growing independence of women in the urban areas did not affect them.

  2. (Q1) Describe some of the key features of Americn society in the 1920's?

    This meant that three years during the First World War, America was neutral and could sell ammunitions and weapons to other countries as well as help them with economical problems by lending loans. The selling of ammunitions to Europe helped America's chemical industry to expand and increase profits, leading it to the boom.

  1. USA and the Prohibiton law - 1920

    I conclude this because both emphasize that poverty is the outcome of drinking and that saloons ruin families. Question 3 - Study sources E and F. Which of these two sources is the more reliable as evidence about Prohibition? Source E is a letter written in 1932 by a wealthy industrialist.

  2. Al Capone was viewed by the authorities in the USA as Public Enemy Number ...

    I think that Al Capone took advantage of the situation that he was confronted with and he also took advantage of the US government's weaknesses. If the government had not tried to ban alcohol then Al Capone would probably not have had a chance to make all the money that he did to become a large gangster.

  1. The USA in the 1920s and 1930s

    In 1925 the Revenue Act was passed, which lowered some taxes and abolished others. In all there were tax rebates of around 43.5bn. Low taxes allowed business owners to invest some of their profits in expanding the business. Also gave the middle classes and upper classes plenty of money to buy what they wanted.

  2. Revision Notes - the USA in the 1920s and 30s.

    These were Relief, which was to give relief to the worst affected; Recover, which was to recover from the depression and rebuild the economy; Reform, which was to prevent any further depression and make the country a fairer place. Roosevelt also had his Fireside Chats, where he would directly talk

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work