Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Group 3 - Question 2

Question: #2 How are the eyes of Dr. Eckleburg described? What do they symbolize?

The eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg are described as, " blue and gigantic- their retinas one yard high. They look out no face, rather, instead, from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a non existent nose." The eyes are actually a billboard in which an oculist set up in order to fatten his business, before he had left. (Pg. 24)

Symbolically, Doctor Eckleburgs' eyes are commonly conceptualized as an allusion of "God" and the Eye of Providence (all seeing eye). This symbolic view of the eye's is stated amongst many scholars as being watchful of "the corrupt materialism and infedelity,"* in which the characters begin to display. The connection between the eyes of Doctor T.J Eckleburg and "God" is that "God" watches over all the reprehensible proceedings in the world, just as the eyes of Doctor Eckleburg were said to persistently watch over Tom and Nick, whilst on their way to visit Myrtle- Tom's mistress. (pg. 24) Amongst the allusion of the symbolism behind the eyes, the inference that the realization of the transition away from proper moral values and into illicit actions is expressed through the idea of the eyes watching over the wrong-doings and corruption pertaining to the Valley of Ashes. Tom and Myrtle's affair further expresses this transition into illicit conduct. Nick's statement about the eyes of Doctor Eckleburg persistently staring, connects the eyes to the idea of "God's" perpetual heed for the unscrupulous and nefarious conduct of humanity. 

Valley of Ashes

*sourced from http:// www.enotes.com/great-gatsby/discuss/eyes-dr-t-j-Eckleburg-3385

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