Symbolism In The Great Gatsby

811 Words4 Pages
History is only what people remember, and in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1920’s era novel, The Great Gatsby, the jazz age was personified to so many Americans by big business, big parties, and big dreams. What many even educated people today picture in their vision of the 1920’s was actually created in Fitzgerald’s experiences and imagination. The author used so many important symbolic elements as he wove his tale that the symbolic meaning becomes a part of the novel itself. This is never truer than a billboard who becomes the Lord, Himself, a light at the end of a dock, and a little high quality H2O. In the beginning, there was God, and…in the Valley of Ashes, you perceive for a moment the eyes of Dr. TJ Eckleburg (23). The problem with the all-seeing, judgmental eyes of the good doctor is that Dr. TJ Eckleburg is not in the Valley of Ashes. He may not even be a doctor any more. He’s just a billboard. This fact seems to be lost on the characters who live in and travel through the valley; however, and they interact with him and even seem to fear him as a Great Judger of Souls. Tom Buchanan goes there to meet his mistress and notices that Eckleberg is frowning at him as he judges the blue collar community. “’Terrible place isn’t it?’ said Tom” (26). Of course it’s a terrible place, Tom! You have come down from your “golden” Egg to the valley of ashes and soot to meet your lover, and now I will frown at you all day long! Yes. God judges sinners. George Wilson knows this fact too.
Open Document