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Dr. TJ Eckleburg

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by

Anna Collum

on 16 September 2013

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Transcript of Dr. TJ Eckleburg

Dr. T.J. Eckleburg
What does the narrator's language imply about the symbol?
Nick's language implies that the other characters do not see the deeper meaning of the owl-eyed Doctor Eckleburg, yet everyone in East and West Egg recognize the billboard advertisement as some real being. Most just see it as a figure lurking over them, watching their every move. Then there is George Wilson, who views the eyes as God in his grievous state.
Over the valley of ashes, an advertising billboard displays the large owl-like eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg from behind his spectacles. Though Fitzgerald does not exploit this symbol outright, he makes it known from his characters’ views on Doctor T.J. Eckleburg.
Who is Doctor T.J Eckleburg?
How does the author develop the symbol's significance?
Fitzgerald makes the eyes a recurring theme throughout the book. He develops the symbol by keeping Eckleburg in the back of the readers' mind as they read. Mentioning it in the beginning as being stuck right in the middle of East and West Egg in the valley of ashes immediately brings to the attention the American Dream aspect of the symbol. At the end of the climax once Wilson sees his wife dead in a hit and run roughly indicates its significance as God watching all.
What does he represent?
The eyes of Doctor Eckleburg come in all forms throughout The Great Gatsby. They represent the deterioration of the American Dream, looking over the poverty-stricken valley of ashes. The painted eyes that reside on the advertisement have long since been abandoned by the real Doctor Eckleburg, a former optometrist. It is George Wilson, soon after Myrtle's death, who brings to attention that they also represent God's eyes, as "God sees everything,".
Is the author effective at developing the symbol?
Fitzgerald is extremely effective at developing the symbol. Again, mentioning the symbol at different intervals of the book helps to establish that it is important to the plot of The Great Gatsby. How Fitzgerald describes the eyes from different characters' perspectives is also an effective way to develop the symbol. The location of the billboard also gives readers a big clue.
Wilson says: "'I told her she might fool me but she couldn't fool God. I took her to the window'.."And I said 'God knows what you've been doing, everything you've been doing. You may fool me but you can't fool God!'".. He was looking at the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg.. "That's just an advertisement," Michaelis assured him." (Fitzgerald 159/160)
Fitzgerald brings Dr. T.J. Eckleburg up throughout the novel to intensify the characters' wrong doings and poor values. He suggests that like the concept of karma, their actions will affect their fate in the future.
What purpose does the symbol serve?
2013 Adaptation of the Owl-Eyed Man
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