J. Eckleburg's Use Of Symbolism In The Great Gatsby

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Another dominant symbol within this novel is the billboard eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg. The eyes symbolize the loss of spiritual values in America. The eyes symbolize the growing of America and how life in America is all about making money. A lot of money is demonstrated by the wealth of people like Tom Buchanan. A man’s success is measured in terms of how much money he is worth, not on what kind of person he may be on the inside. Moreover, the eyes also symbolize the corruption of America’s people. The eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg stare down on the main characters as they pass underneath the billboard on their way into New York City where Tom carries on his affair, where Gatsby drives Nick to meet Wolfshiem, where Daisy rushes off to find a few thrills with her over, Gatsby. The eyes seem to frown down on these characters, Wilson equates T.J.’s eyes to the eyes of God. He narrates to Michaelis what he says to Myrtle after discovering his affair, “and I said “God knows what you’ve been doing, everything you’ve been doing. You may fool me, but you can’t fool God!” However, Michaelis tries to point out to him that…show more content…
There is this idea that a person who comes from humble origins could achieve the Dream if they are willing to work hard and take advantage of opportunities. This is seen in Gatsby and Myrtle where they bootleg and commit adultery respectively. Though, the frowning eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg look down on the Valley of the Ashes as if to say that the American Dream is one big lie. The American Dream produced wealth for some, but for the majority of people their hopes for gold is just like the ashes. The reality is that not everyone can have as much money as the Buchanan’s have. It’s like for every Buchanan, there are thousands of Wilsons. The idea that everyone can live the dream is just a dream. For most, life is the nightmare of the Valley of the Ashes which the Eyes frown down on all day
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