The Great Gatsby

Eyes and Voices in the Great Gatsby?

Can somebody please explain me what the significance of Eyes and Voices in the Great Gatsby is?

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Gatsby says that Daisy's voice is full of money- meaning that Daisy belongs in East Egg where the people have never known anything else.

Daisy's voice is one of the most mentioned descriptions in F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby". The way her voice is described in each new scene allows the reader to better understand Daisy's emotions and how she affects those around her.

It was said, "that Daisy's murmur was only to make people lean toward her; an irrelevant criticism that made it no less charming."

Daisy asks questions, "in her low thrilling voice. It was a kind of voice that the ear follows up and down as if each speech is an arrangement of notes that will never be played again."

Daisy tells a story and Nick thinks, "her voice compelled me forward breathlessly as I listened; her voice was glowing and singing."

When meeting Gatsby at Nick's house, "The exhilarating ripple of her voice was a wild tonic in the rain. I had to follow the sound of it for a moment."

From shmoop;

Daisy’s voice is full, not just of money, but of promises – there’s something about it that tells the listener that wonderful things are on the horizon. Daisy’s voice is irresistibly seductive, and all the other characters are drawn to her because of it.

This brings to mind the image of the Siren. In Greek mythology, the island-dwelling Sirens sang to passing sailors, and their song was so seductive that the sailors would throw themselves into the sea and drown trying to get to them. Daisy is kind of a modern Siren; when Gatsby stretches his arms out to the green light across the water, we can almost imagine him throwing himself into the Sound to reach her. Her voice speaks of everything Gatsby desires – Daisy herself, wealth, social status, true happiness – and its call is irresistible.


Fitzgerald uses eyes as an important symbol throughout the novel (and on the cover) to help clarify the different perspectives. Owl Eyes, from Gatsby's library, provides us with an excellent example. Nick and Jordan stumble upon Owl Eyes while looking for Gatsby during a party. Owl Eyes is a character who right away realizes that Gatsby is putting on a show. His spectacles lead him to ascertain that Gatsby has a purpose behind his extravagance. In Owl Eyes' drunken ramblings about the books in the library, we can see their implications on Gatsby. Owl Eyes thought the books would be fake but since, to his astonishment, they are real, he calls Gatsby a "regular Belasco," implying that Gatsby went all out (like Belasco would) in making his home (or set) as real as possible. Nick describes Owl Eyes: "He snatched the book from me and replaced it hastily on its shelf muttering that if one brick was removed the whole library was liable to collapse." This quote echoes our previous observation about the fragileness of Gatsby's hopes and dreams. This Owl Eyes, who was so observant at Gatsby's party, was the only patron of Gatsby's parties that showed up to the funeral. Perhaps this shows that Owl Eyes was the only person who shared a similar understanding of Gatsby with Nick.

Owl Eyes conveniently brings us to the ongoing theme related to appearance and change. Gatsby's existence in West Egg was completely for Daisy. Owl Eyes was right. Gatsby built a set to fit into the role he needed to have to get back Daisy. He was "concealing his incorruptible dream." Every patron at his parties gossiped about him because he was a mystery. His shady occupation added substance to the fassade. He was continually accused of being a bootlegger (a maker of false copies). Tom referred to Gatsby's car as a "circus wagon," his actions as "stunts" and his whole operation as a "menagerie." Gatsby simply wanted to be the man that was able to have Daisy. This dream was torn down by the utter carelessness of the Buchanan's and that "rotten crowd."


The eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg overlook the Valley of Ashes and symbolize the eyes' of God looking upon the moral decomposition in American society. Fitzgerald uses the eyes as a Godlike reminder to all people that God is watching and judging us. "... 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. They look out of no face, but, instead, from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a non-existent nose. ... But his eyes, dimmed a little by many paintless days under sun and rain, brood on over the solemn dumping ground" (Fitzgerald 24). In The Great Gatsby, most of the characters put meaning into the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg, but Fitzgerald never actually make that connection. Only Mr. Wilson believes that Doctor Eckleburg eyes are the eyes of God and that God is watching him and judging him. "God knows what you've been doing, everything you've been doing. You may fool me, but you can't fool God!" (Fitzgerald 160). Mr. Wilson believes that the eyes watch over the immoral acts his wife does and he thinks that it is God's will to avenge Myrtle's death. The appearance of the eyes may have a completely different meaning than their actual position in the Valley of Ashes. (Callahan 22) The eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg are a symbol of the judging and omniscient God that observes the American society and its moral decay.

In The Great Gatsby, the green light, Valley of Ashes, and the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg all represent the dreams of Gatsby, moral decay of American society, and the eyes of God. The green light is nothing more than a symbol for Daisy, whom Gatsby had, fell in love with before going to war. The green light is also related to the American Dream because Gatsby becomes wealthy in order to be with Daisy. Gatsby displays the American Dream of getting rich fast, but his schemes are illegal and demonstrate that people are willing to get rich through dishonest and immoral methods. The Valley of Ashes demonstrates the moral decay and society's immorality during the 1920s. The Valley of Ashes is the result of the pursuit of happiness, wealth, and power otherwise known as the American Dream. During the 1920s, the American society became distant from the morals of working-hard to gain wealth. Instead the Valley of Ashes represents a decline in morality and a rise in poverty. The eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg view the horrors of the Valley of Ashes and symbolize the eyes of God. The eyes are similar to the eyes of God and watch over the people that pass through the Valley of Ashes, judging everyone. They are a sign to Mr. Wilson that he must take vengeance on who killed his wife, Myrtle. The vast symbols in the Great Gatsby are used to represent the hopes and dreams of Gatsby, the moral decomposition in American society, and the eyes of God that judge and watch over everyone.


Thank you this helped already helped me a lot. Does somebody know something about Voices in the Great Gatsby I could not find anything on this online....

Daisy was the only reference to voices. I wasn't sure if it would help you, but let me see if I can go back and find it.

"Her voice is full of money,”

this is the only quote i found ...