Vision In The Great Gatsby

939 Words4 Pages
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, published in 1925, is a tragic love story, a mystery and an insight into the roaring 20’s. On the first page of the novel, our narrator, Nick, realizes that there is “some unmistakable sign that an intimate revelation was quivering on the horizon” (7). Fitzgerald already refers to vision, saying that one must look out into the distance, which is blurred or not very clear. He is telling the reader to trust what they are seeing as the “unmistakable sign” even though the horizon is shaky (7). Fitzgerald is making a connection that the reader must overlook the horizon, which is a metaphor for Nick as a narrator, and trust the unmistakable sign, that is in fact Gatsby. Genre is “a historically stable variety…show more content…
Eckleburg. Eckleburg is first introduced to the reader in chapter two as a billboard, which overlooks the apartment that belongs to George and Myrtle Wilson. The Doctor’s eyes are described as “blue and gigantic – their retinas are one yard high. They look out of no face, but, instead, from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a non-existent nose.” (26). His giant eyes also watch over the Valley of Ashes, a dump between New York and West Egg (Westbrook 83). Eckleburg looms over the world from a billboard and acts like the all-seeing eye, a God-like persona that observes society rotting away. In the wasteland that is the Valley of Ashes, Doctor Eckleburg’s “persistent stare” observes the disastrous marriage of George and Myrtle (27). It is also here that Eckleburg’s gigantic eyes, watch as Daisy who is driving Gatsby’s yellow car, attempts to avoid hitting the distressed Myrtle as she sprints out onto the road to escape the clutches of her husband. The all-seeing eye watches as Gatsby tries to “swing the wheel” and avoid the on rushing Myrtle as she cries for help (137). After this deadly accident, as Westbrook explains, the Doctor beholds Wilson as he “takes upon himself the role of avenger” for his wife, Myrtle (83). Wilson gazes into the eyes of the Doctor and determines that he will find his wife’s murderer, for nothing,…show more content…
Scott Fitzgerald’s use of optics in the novel is a key element. The all-seeing eye of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg, a billboard advertisement, who is a god-like figure, views the collapse of society and watches the tragic demise of Myrtle. Owl-Eyes sees past Gatsby’s image and his persona. When he realizes that the books in Gatsby’s library are indeed real, although he knows that Gatsby has not read a single one of them, he mutters to himself “if one brick was removed the whole library was liable to collapse.” (47). Making the point that if one piece of information was removed from Gatsby’s farce, then his whole world would collapse. Nick is our eyes throughout the novel and although he may not be a reliable narrator, he gives an insight into the great man that is Jay
Open Document