How Did Gatsby Get Rich?

Updated 30 September, 2024
Jay Gatsby is from a poor family of farmers. He becomes rich in an illegal way. The main resource of Gatsby getting all his money from is from bootlegging.
Detailed answer:

In The Great Gatsby, Gatsby was rich but his wealth was not from old money like Daisy and Tom. His wealth came from his hard work and dedication to try and impress Daisy.
The main resource of Gatsby getting all his money from is from bootlegging. Wolfsheim says “...these newly rich people are just big bootleggers, you know”. Gatsby never grew up into money, selling alcohol illegally made him become rich because alcohol was illegal in the 1920s. Having his alcohol at his parties stood for his wealthiness and social class. Other than bootlegging, Gatsby was selling fake bonds to get money. This is what he was trying to hide from Daisy and Tom becuase he knows they would look down upon him.
The easy money earnt by Gatsby financed the major theme of the novel by buying things in order to impress Daisy. When Gatsby met his unfortunate end, the house and its contents were repossessed by Wolfsheim and Gatsby left no legacy, financial or otherwise.
To sum up, despite his poor background, Gatsby managed to become rich. However he did it in an illegal way.

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