In his book The Beautiful and Damned one of the subheadings of Chapter 1 is "Nor Does He Spin." There is no specific reference to the title (I think) within this section. So what did Fitzgerald mean by spinning?

[Spoiler?] This is the section in which Anthony Patch talks to his grandfather upon returning from Rome and declares his intention to write a history book. Also at the beginning there is a listing of what his servant Bounds does for him.

  • 2
    This sounds like a literature question, since this can’t be answered without the broader context of the book
    – Laurel
    Jun 4, 2020 at 16:55

1 Answer 1


"Neither does he spin" is a way of saying that Anthony Patch "does not toil", that he does not do any work.

A familiar reference to many people older than about 50, I think. It refers to a passage in the Christian Bible, Matthew chapter 6, verse 28:

Why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They don’t toil, neither do they spin.

Wikipedia commentary: Two verses earlier at Matthew 6:26 Jesus told his followers not to worry about food, because even the birds are provided for by God. In this verse Jesus presents the example of the lilies, who also do no labour. Spin in this verse is a reference to spinning thread, a labour-intensive but necessary part of making clothing. Spinning was traditionally women's work, something made explicit in Luke's version of this verse. This then is one of the few pieces of evidence that Jesus' message is meant equally for women as for men.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.