The Great Gatsby Study Package
Dr. T.J. Eckleburg’s Eyes:
Dr. T.J. Eckleburg’s eyes, in The Great Gatsby, symbolize a kind of guardian angel or god that watches over the valley of ashes. “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 a pair of enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a non-existent nose” The above quote establishes the authority of the eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg, the fact that the retinas of the eyes are one yard high establish for us the overpowering size and authority of the eyes. The fact that the eyes “look out of no face” and that we can see nothing but the eyes and its yellow spectacles also enforce the idea that the eyes are godly this is because god is a figure whom nobody can see, but we know he looks upon us. “But above the gray land and the spasms of bleak dust which drift endlessly over it, you perceive, after a moment the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg.” This quote shows us that the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg which symbolize god are watching over nothingness of land where the poor, such as Myrtle Wilson and Wilson, reside. The ashheaps which the eyes are looking over are completely the opposite of the more lavish East and West Egg. “But his eyes, dimmed a little by many paintless days under sun and rain, brood on over the solemn dumping ground” This quote shows us how the god has dimmed looking over the poor land and endured many problems of the poor that live in the valley of ashes
“I turned me head as though I had been warned of something behind. Over the ashheaps the giant eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg kept their vigil but I perceived, after a moment, that the other eyes were regarding us less than twenty feet away. In one of the windows over the garage the curtains had been moved aside, and Myrtle Wilson was peering down at the car.” In this quote we see that the god has warned Nick of something behind which appears to be Myrtle, this foreshadows what happens to Myrtle later. “Standing behind him, Michaelis saw with a shock he [Wilson] was looking at the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg, which had just emerged, pale and enormous, from the dissolving night. ‘God sees everything,’ repeated Wilson…Wilson stood there a long time, his face close to the window pane, nodding into the twilight.” The above quote foreshadows what Wilson is about to do. The fact that Wilson goes and kills Gatsby after he looks at the eyes can lead us to think that the god has sent Wilson to punish the rich for their immoral acts.
“On Sunday morning while church bells rang in the villages alongshore, the world and its mistress returned to Gatsby’s house and twinkled hilariously on his lawn.”
The Green Light on Daisy’s Dock:
The green light on Daisy’s dock was symbolic of Gatsby’s dream. “…he stretched out his arms toward the dark water in a curious way, and, far as I was from him, I could have he was trembling…I glanced seaward-and distinguished nothing except a single green light” The above quote shows us when Nick first observed Gatsby’s reaction to his dream so to say. The fact that Gatsby is “trembling” and “stretching his arms out toward” the light shows us that at the beginning of the light he is trying quite hard to reach for his dream which he feels is just out of grasp. “’Gatsby bought that house so that Daisy would be just across the bay.’ Then it had not been merely the stars to which he had aspired on that June night. He came alive to me, delivered suddenly from the womb of his purposeless splendour” In the above quote we are told that in fact the green light is Daisy’s and that Gatsby’s true dream has broken out of his splendour to Nick. “’If it wasn’t for the mist we could see your home across the bay,” said Gatsby. ‘You always have a green light that burns all night at the end of your dock’” When Gatsby and Daisy are united a mist covers the Green light which visibly...
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