The Great Gatsby (Ch 1-4) (Fitzgerald)

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"The eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg are 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.  Evidently some wild wag of an oculist set them there to fatten his practice in the borough of Queens, and then sank down himself into eternal blindness, or forgot them and moved away.  But his eyes, dimmed a little by many paintless days under sun and rain, brood on over the solemn dumping ground." (Fitzgerald 23)

I found this paragraph and the focus on the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg to be rather odd and interesting. I found it odd because Fitzgerald took so much time and detail to describe this advertisement. The advertisement has no importance concerning anything actually happening with the characters yet after reading the passage about the advertisement, the reader is left to think that there something important in the faded eyes. I think that perhaps these eyes are symbolic of God watching over everything that happens. It is said that Doctor T.J. Eckleburg's eyes watch over the "valley of ashes" similar to how God watches over us, even the ugly things that we do.  For instance, Doctor T.J. Eckleburg's eyes are watching each time that Tom goes to visit his mistress, just as God is watching.  The eyes are ever present though I'm sure that people in their hurry forget about them, just as people often forget about God's presence in our lives.

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Rachael Sarver said:

I also chose this quote as my focus and I agree that Dr. T.J. Eckleburg is much more than an advertisement. The eyes become another character, observing the unfolding plot. This character cannot speak, however, so you start to wonder what Dr. T.J. Eckleburg is thinking, judging, or knows that the reader does not.

Marie, watch for the return of the Eyes of Dr. Eckleburg. I'd be interested in hearing what your thoughts are when you've read more of the book. Thanks for sharing these thoughts.

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