Books and Movies Reviews

The Symbolic Meaning of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg's Eyes

Many writers use symbols in their works in order to show different aspects of life.F. Scott Fitzgerald uses symbols in his most famous book, The Great Gatsby.There is a green light that represents Jay Gatsby's hope for a future with Daisy Buchanan.He sees the light from across the bay and believes that it a sign that he should try to win back Daisy's affection. However, the most important symbol in the entire book is probably the enormous eyes painted on an advertisement billboard.
First introduced on page 27, the billboard is an old advertisement for an oculist.The eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleberg, as they were named, are described as "…blue and gigantic – their retinas (pupils or irises) are one yard high" (p. 27) and "…dimmed a little by many paintless days under the sun and rain, brood over the solemn dumping ground" (p. 28).The billboard overlooks the Valley of Ashes, a wasteland where "ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills, and grotesque gardens" (p.27).People have long polluted this area with dumped ashes, garbage, and manure.
The eyes are representative of the eyes of God.They look down upon the people who pass through the valley and judge them.It seems as though this God simply watches over the people and maybe even protects them, but near the end of the novel, that idea appears to be the opposite of what the God really does.Since these eyes watch over the people, they see all of the things that people do – good or bad.They act as a judge of virtue and, in the end, they punish all of those who had questionable morals.
The punishments began with the death of Myrtle Wilson, Tom Buchanan's lover.Her death was a sentence for selling her soul for the love of money.It was also a penalization for Tom, since he lost his mistress when Myrtle died.Jay Gatsby was another person penalized because of Myrtle's death.First, the fact…

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