In the novel The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, with his narrator, Nick Carraway, he deepens the theme of pursuit by dividing society among “the pursued, the pursuing, the busy, and the tired” (79). This is a recurring theme throughout the novel and by looking at which category each character falls in to, the reader can understand this piece of literature better.
Nick Carraway, thinks he is pursuing a fortune in the stock market in the east. Throughout the book he is constantly put into awkward situations and pulled in the middle of scandals. He doesn’t say anything and he doesn’t judge. He runs away from confronting the problem. “‘I’m thirty.... I’m five years too old to lie to myself and cal it honor.’ (177).” At the end of the book he learns the point in which he can’t tolerate anymore subterfuge.
Myrtle Wilson was pursuing Tom Buchanan and a better lifestyle. She was tired of her husband, George Wilson, who was a poor mechanic. She is running from George, to Tom because she hates being poor. “‘I married him because I thought he was a gentleman...I thought he knew something about breeding, but he wasn't fit to lick my shoe.’ (34).”
Gatsby is the protagonist and he is running towards success. He’s trying desperately to run away from his past, being a poor kid and ‘shiftless.’ “His parents were shiftless and unsuccessful farm people- his imagination had never really accepted them as his parents at all (98).” He makes the mistake by thinking Daisy is a shortcut to success. He pretty much sells his soul to the ‘Devil’, whom is symbolized by Wolfsheim in this case. Wolfsheim subjugates Gatsby’s life.
Americans pursue what they define as happiness. This