The Great Gatsby Questions and Answers
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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There Are Only The Pursued The Pursuing The Busy And The Tired

What does the quote "there are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired" mean?

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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What Fitzgerald may have meant in the designation of "the pursued and the pursuing" extends beyond the realm of romance between men and women in the novel.  At Gatsby's party in chapter three, Nick sees "young Englishmen" whom he is sure are "agonizingly aware of the easy money in the vicinity and convinced that it was theirs for a few words in the right key."  The economic boom of the 1920s attracted all sorts of ambitious people to the financial center of New York, and these Englishmen are engaging in what is today called networking. They are pursuing business connections in a social setting in hopes of enriching themselves and gaining a foothold in American markets. Because Nick is also pursuing increased economic standing, he easily recognizes what is going on around him. The pursued are their targets—the old money and nouveau riche that freely mix at Gatsby's parties.

The busy and the tired could also be representative of people engaged in the business world.  Gatsby is the...

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