Eyes Of Dr. J. Eckleburg Symbolize In The Great Gatsby

Words: 1663
Pages: 7

Gatsby: The Story of Us Jay Gatsby is one of the most memorable characters ever written in literature. Whether it be his extravagant parties, his overwhelming wealth, or simply his compassionate smile, Gatsby never fails to captivate the reader. Although Mr. Gatsby plays a large role in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s critically acclaimed novel The Great Gatsby, there is a stronger force at work within this literary classic. Sometimes hidden deep within the lines or even standing in plain sight, symbolism is the driving force throughout the novel. Symbolism in The Great Gatsby exists through the locations, objects, and the character of Jay Gatsby.
Each location in The Great Gatsby is symbolic. The protagonist of the story, Nick Carraway, lives within
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Perhaps the most well-known symbolism is the advertising sign in the Valley of Ashes of “some wild wag of an oculist” named Doctor T.J. Eckleburg (Fitzgerald 27). The eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg symbolize the eyes of God. Robert C. Hauhart says in his critical analysis that the eyes of Dr. Eckleburg are “a symbol for God perched above the Valley of Ashes,” and he “overlooks the human doings in Gatsby” (Hauhart 200). George Wilson even explicitly calls the sign “God” when he says, “God knows what you’ve been doing, everything you’ve been doing. You may fool me but you can’t fool God!” After making that remark, it is revealed that Wilson is “looking at the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg” (Fitgerald 167). Hauhart also notes that “the first death of a major character, Myrtle, takes place there under Dr. T.J. Eckleburg’s yard high line of sight” (Hauhart 200). All of the repeated mention of the sign makes it one of the most important symbol in the novel. The advertising sign of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg is actually a representation of God that overlooks the Valley of Ashes to see all the horrific acts committed by the characters in the …show more content…
Fitzgerald states in the final paragraph of The Great Gatsby that “Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us” (Fitzgerald 180). This final epiphany of Nick Carraway goes hand in hand with the virtue of hope that is frequently mentioned throughout the rest of the novel. It is revealed that the green light that Gatsby reaches out toward for the entire book is actually symbolic of the dream that Gatsby tries to achieve throughout the entire book. Fitzgerald also relates Gatsby’s dream to the dreams of all people with the final pronoun “us.” The symbolism of these objects helps to create the inner workings of the plot of The Great