February 20, 2006

The Great Gatsby: FINALLY!!!!

First let me say that I am more than excited to finally be reading this story again. I had great enjoyment out of it, and look forward to discussing it in class. Now, on to the agenda item:

"The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg are blue and gigantic—their irises are one yard high. They look out of no face, but, instead, from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a nonexistent nose...But his eyes, dimmed a little by many paintless days, under sun and rain, brood on over the solemn dumping ground." (Chapter 2).

The eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg really seem to symbolize the author's point of view of the lifestyle that the people in New York. F. Scott Fitzgerald really seems to be frowning upon the lifestyle of the "Roaring 20's." Before the 1920's the sign of Dr. Eckleburg was bright and colorful. After the 20's came into play, with a lavish lifestyle and a disgusting point of view of what people need display this sign as worn down, and not as bright as it once was. The society really seems to reflect an ethical wasteland filled with useless necessities to make the people feel better about themselves.

Which leaves me to Gatsby. Gatsby is a confusing character, mainly because he is a part of this society, but he seems to have a deeper meaning to him that no one finds. This is why the green light on the water is so significant. No one understands it, or him for that matter. There is something completely hidden behind this man that the rest of the society is somewhat baffled by, including his new neighbor Nick Carraway. Don't worry, everyone will get a great taste of Gatsby later in the novel...or else it wouldn't be called The Great Gatsby.

Posted by The Gentle Giant at February 20, 2006 2:17 PM
Comments

I love your enthusiasm! I read this book quite a while ago, so it's almost all new to me. Dr. E's glasses seem to be a bit of a pink elephant in the room. They are such a large symbol of a change in perspective, but could easily be ignored as a mere roadside sign. In fact, I don't think anything in FSF's novel is to be ignored. I am learning from your insight into the 20's.

Posted by: Jennifer DiFulvio at February 20, 2006 3:24 PM

I'm really glad to hear that. I love this era in history to be honest. I'm so glad that you get to have the experience of having this story be new to you. I think that you are already dead on with the pink elephant comment. I think a lot of Fitzgerald's symbolism is noticeable, but people can still look right past it. Obviously you didn't, which shows that you really have a keen insight to this novel. Great discussion.

Posted by: Jason Pugh at February 21, 2006 1:07 AM

Speaking of symbolism here's one:

Isn't is sort of neat that the only person to show up at Gatsby's funeral (besides Nick) is the fellow who was in the library admiring Gatsby's books.

Is this FSF giving the bookworm set some props?

Posted by: Matt Hampton at February 23, 2006 12:15 AM

Maybe he brought owl eyes to the funeral because he couldn't bring the Dr. E sign. The two seem interchangeable as symbols for something greater watching over the characters, maybe even FSF himself.

Posted by: Jennifer DiFulvio at February 24, 2006 10:22 PM

In looking at the Eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg, remember the archetypes. Remember the yellow, the blue, and remember where they are-- physically...The Valley of Ashes. Fitzgerald's use of archetypes foreshadow events and outcomes of events.

Posted by: jdan at March 29, 2007 10:32 PM
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