The Great Gatsby

symbolism played a big role in the novel , discuss with references from the text

I need an answer supported by events from the novel.. And if you can give me some resources "links for some articles" that i can look for an answer in.. That would be appreciated.. Thanks in advance


Asked by
Last updated by jill d #170087
Answers 1
Add Yours

The second chapter begins with a description of the valley of ashes, a dismal, barren wasteland halfway between West Egg and New York. A pair of enormous eyes broods over the valley from a large, decaying billboard. These are the eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg, an optometrist whose practice has long since ended.

It is a "valley of ashes," a place of uninterrupted desolation. The eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg are an indelibly grotesque image: these are eyes unattached to any face or body, gazing out over a hellish wasteland. Fitzgerald's description of the drawbridge and passing barges makes an allusion to the River Styx, a mythological river which one crosses to enter the realm of the dead. The eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg seem to be a monstrous parody of the eyes of God: they watch, but they do not see; they are heartless, and entirely unknowing. Like the scene in which Gatsby reaches for the green light, high symbolism is given priority over the demands of realism: the reader is presented with an implausible, but highly effective image of two detached eyes looking out over dust and ashes.