Symbolism in Great Gatsby

Topics: The Ashes, Wealth, American Dream Pages: 2 (711 words) Published: June 18, 2013
The Valley of Ashes:
“ This is the valley of ashes – a fantastic farm where ashes grow like wheat into ridges and hills and grotesque gardens; where ashes take the forms of houses and chimneys and rising smoke, and finally, with a transcendent effort, of ash-grey men, who dimly and already crumbling through the powdery air.” (26)

The valley of ashes is located between West Egg and New York, the characters need to pass through here to get to New York, when they pass through here the characters need to betake themselves to the lower status, that are located here in the Ashes. The valley of ashes differants the rich from the poor, however it also symbolizes moral and social decay which is made from unrestricted pursuit of wealth. This is where the Wilson’s live, and is not high standard of living. The Valley of Ashes is the example how the rich indulge in nothing but for their own pleasures. The Wilsons lose their excitement when living the ashes, however the rich seem to get away with everything and the people of the ashes suffer from their mistakes. The Eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg

The eyes of T.J. Eckleburg watch over the Valley Ashes. “God knows what you’ve been doing, everything you’re been doing. You may fool me, but you can’t fool God! Standing behind him, Michaelis saw with a shock that he was looking at the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg.”(152) George relates the eyes to the eyes of god, however if this is the representation of the eyes of God watching over them, then George has a sad and faded relation to what God is. These eyes are just sitting watching everyone, and are not helping the characters throughout the novel. The eyes of T.J. Eckleburg can also symbolize the way Nick looks at the people of West Egg and the valley of ashes. Nick understands what goes on throughout everyone’s’ lives and does not judge them, just like the eyes, they simply just watch over the characters, and do not do anything about their actions. Gatsby’s Mansion

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