Theme Of Eyes In The Great Gatsby

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The Development of The Great Gatsby The Great Gatsby can be argued to be F. Scott Fitzgerald’s best novel. Written in the 1920s, it reflects both the time period as well as different aspects of his own life, such as his marriage. The Great Gatsby is composed of multiple complex motifs, such as eyes and materialism, which develop throughout the novel by the use of symbolism and diction, and reveal Fitzgerald’s belief that the American Dream is dead, or is not completely achievable.
Firstly, eyes are used throughout the novel. However, they are a symbol, not a character. The eyes of Dr. T.J Eckleberg, specifically, are “blue and gigantic-their retinas are one yard high. They look out of no face, but, instead, from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles. But his eyes, dimmed a little by many paintless days under sun and rain, brood on over the solemn dumping ground” (Fitzgerald 23-24). This billboard’s eyes reside in New York’s Valley of Ashes (an area with no prosperity) and are always watching.
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Since Nick had spent so much time with Gatsby, “After Gatsby’s death, the East haunted me like that, distorted my eyes’ power of correction” (176). Death has been occurring all around Nick, especially in the later chapters. The death of Gatsby is the climax of the book, and his death symbolizes the death of the American Dream. When Gatsby dies, there is nobody to inherit his money, so it is all lost. Although not everyone’s American Dream is to be wealthy, that is the dream of many in the 1920’s. Gatsby’s dream is to win his golden girl back, but fails when he succumbs to his death. While Gatsby is living, Nick sees the glory of West Egg, his eyes focused on all the beauty of the East, but now sees the corruption of it and the people. He gives this perception to the entire East Coast, and is now unable to change his judgement, and henceforth his eyes are unable to correct

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