English 11 5th period
10 October 2014
A Picture for a Word: The Vision of Scott Fitzgerald
A person can describe a picture in many unique ways, but a symbol can define a word and a create a vivid message for the reader. Scott Fitzgerald uses theses symbols to bring a point across that the world can be depressing and bleak. Some of these symbols include cars which represents recklessness, another is the valley of ashes that represents poverty and hopelessness, and another symbol is the eyes of T.J Eckleburg which can represent god looking down and judging american society. All of these symbols come together so show Scott Fitzgerald’s viewpoint on a pessimistic world.
One of the most prominent symbols throughout the book were cars. The cars in the book can represent recklessness within the rich and how care free the upper class are. An example of this is when Nick says, “They were careless people Tom and Daisy they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.” (Page 188)
This quote can represent many situations that took place with Tom and Daisy. One situation is when Daisy was careless and hit Myrtle with the car. This event shows how Daisy doesn’t care at all for anything and that she feels that she can do anything she wants with no consequences at all.
They don’t know what they are doing or the trouble that they are doing to harm society. These cars make the upper class feel careless and so important that they forget what’s real and what’s
not real. These events occurring proves how cars show what social status you are ranked at and how humans can be so reckless if given a certain amount of money and power.
Another symbol that comes into play is the Valley of Ashes. The Valley of Ashes is a very bleak and drab symbol there is so much negativity revolving around it. It’s described in this quote saying, “This is as valley of ashes a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke and, finally, with a transcendent effort, of men who move dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air.” (Page 23) The quote depicts that the Valley of ashes is not an amusing place to be. It’s full of poverty and and hopelessness. There are many factories full of black smoke where people are paid minimum wages and people are on the edge of the line trying to survive. This is one of the grimmest locations in the book because of its condition and all of its surroundings. The Valley of Ashes is one of the most negative points in the book as it is a desolate location that only represents hopelessness and irreparable conditions.
Within the Valley of Ashes there was a sign known as the Eyes of T.J. Eckleburg which exhibited a negative view on society. This quote describes the billboard saying “But his eyes, dimmed a little by many paintless days under