As He Watched

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In the book, The Great Gatsby it becomes apparent that Dr. Eckelberg symbolizes God and oversees events that occur. The characters in the novel refer to "the eyes of Dr. Eckelberg" often. Doctor T.J. Eckleburg symbolizes three things, he symbolizes the corruption of society, the eyes also act as a God, and he implies carelessness and mistreatment.

"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 nonexistent nose." (27 - 28) Nick Carraway, the main charactor of the story and the voice of Gatsby, describes his first occurance seeing the billboard. He takes on an image of a human figure, which he is characterized as at many times throughout the novel, and that of a Godlike figure. However, the eyes also symbolize the corruption of America’s people. The eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg stare down on the main characters as they pass underneath the billboard on their way into New York City where Tom carries on his affair. Gatsby drives Nick to meet Wolfshiem, the man who fixed the World Series, where Daisy runs off to find a connection with Gatsby. The eyes seem to frown down on these characters, Wilson reffers to T.J.’s eyes to the eyes of God. He recounts to Michaelis what he says to Myrtle after discovering his affair, “‘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!”” (160-161) However, Michaelis tries to point out to him that “It’s just a billboard.” (161)

Fitzgerald uses the word careless a lot in describing most of the people and events in this book. There seems to be no fear of consequence, of judgment, so who is doing the judgment? That is, in part, what the eyes of T.J. Eckleburg are there for. They look over the situation, objectively, but offer a kind of judgment on the characters and their actions. They are placed near Wilson's because that is where...
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