Seemingly, America and the world as a whole, have a drinking problem, societal culture and way of life that has always scoffed at the importance of moderation (Kadivar 127). Some people assert that perhaps it was during the Prohibition era in the 1920s, when every drink was highly valued, that the American nation adopted the principle of relishing in every drop, depending on how fast one was able to consume the drink. However, alcohol has been used as a way of escaping reality and, in some instances, even responsibility. This paper will explore how true this statement in regard to the book "The Great Gatsby" by Fitzgerald.
It seems this generation could not escape alcohol’s tempting hand. Hardly has this norm changed. Present day society is now deeply engrossed in the alcohol principle seemingly adopted in the 1920's , with some researchers claiming that nowadays, there really is no setting that isn’t conducive to drinking. From movie theaters, football games, homes, big offices and, admittedly, even many colleges, drinking has become the norm in present day society, just like it was in the 1920's, if not worse. The severity of this problem can be attributed to recent findings, that children as young as twelve years are now undergoing rehabilitation procedures at various rehabilitation centers worldwide due to the problem of alcohol addiction (Kadivar 161).
Additionally, recent studies revealed cases of prominent people severely ailing or even dying from alcohol related complications, especially among the people between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five years. Some people assume that the older generation should be suffering from these dire complications, but recent reports and surveys conducted in various rehabilitation centers worldwide expose the worrying truth that a large majority of the patients are people of the younger age bracket. In numerous cases, no one really seems to have a valid account on why things are like this. Many even joke that in contemporary society, social events warrant lubrication of an alcoholic form, “to set the social wheel in motion” (Kadivar 15).
It is seemingly ingrained in modern day society that getting drunk expressly leads to a good time, and perhaps, it does sometimes (Goulston 22). Nonetheless, a closer look into the situation reveals that it is an escape from reality. Instead of evaluating where they stand, many people opt to get drunk either to have a good time or to forget their problems. Presently, the social scene, especially in parties all over the world, is not complete without alcohol. Younger generations are now deeply entrenched in this practice, and they are now the largest consumers of alcohol in any country of the world. Present day generations are thrill seekers, and alcohol serves as an essential purpose of adding to the party sensation. Youths now consider alcohol as the major fuel to happiness and thrill in most social settings (Goulston 28).
Owing to the rapid advancement of technology and consequent spread and easy access of information all over the world, major cities have emerged due to numerous job opportunities that have resulted from the recent profound technological advancements. Recently, youths have initiated and taken control of leading companies worldwide, and this has caused a rapid advancement of many individuals, formally considered as the middle class. Hence, access to funds is now not restricted and as a result, many people in current places of employment indulge in alcoholism, due to having no other means. As a result, many individuals have become regular, dependent drinkers, mainly as a form of escapism from the pressure that came with the increased responsibilities of office work. This form of escapism is also widely seen in actors and musicians, who gulp shots of whisky before appearing on stage for performance (Goulston 30).
There have also been cases of doctors using alcohol to wade themselves through trauma and stress, especially those involved in handling complex medical cases, which normally involve hard and demanding operation procedures (Goulston 31). In many instances of trying to handle the stress that comes from such jobs and from unfortunate instances in the operating rooms, such as, death of the patient, doctors start seeking relieve in alcohol, and consequently begin heavy drinking. As a result, numerous doctors have become dependent on alcohol, such that some are unable to attend patients without taking alcohol, citing shaky hands, and impaired memory in the operating rooms (Doweiko 294).
Surveys reveal that owing to the raised standards of living, especially, due to bad governance policies, especially politically and economically, many families are now unable to afford or effectively meet their daily requirement of three meals a day (Goulston 32). Consequently, frustration slowly creeps into the family, with many families breaking up due to lack of food and other basic resources. The currently soaring rates of inflation have only made things worse, and in some countries, cases of men battering are on the rise (Kadivar 165).Additionally, owing to political instability in many countries, food prices have increased in many African countries. As a result, many family men have taken alcohol to escape from the harsh reality of tough economic conditions and financial constraints. To such people, reality is a concept that instills chills of fear to them. Alcohol can sometimes dull the reality in that, for example, one needs to find a job, or, the bills need to be offset (Doweiko 293).
Another reason that effectively illustrates the use of alcohol to escape from reality is where an individual is self aware of his/her complex antisocial tendencies. This is especially the case with teenagers or young adults in their early twenties, especially those in social settings such as colleges and places of work. Many of these students seek for solace in the bottle, especially places where they are bound to meet with people, such as a company's annual party gathering. Instead of socializing with their colleagues, they indulge in excessive drinking, either as a means of exciting them up to talk, or as a means of complete withdrawal altogether (Doweiko 295).