F Scott Fitzgerald's Use Of Symbols In The Great Gatsby

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F. Scott Fitzgerald’s the Great Gatsby is one of the few books that has been passed down from generation to generation and is still praised as a literary masterpiece. Fitzgerald has been considered a master of symbolism, and anyone who has read the book should be able to clearly see that. Page by page, sentence by sentence, Fitzgerald uses symbolism to paint a picture of the underlying problems the characters face in the time of which they live including topics such as capitalism, prohibition, love versus money, and personal identity. Throughout the chapters there is a recurrent mention of an oculist’s sign in the Valley of Ashes and an owl eyed man at Gatsby’s mansion. Fitzgerald’s use of symbolism through the oculist and owl eyed man provide deeper meaning to the story and contribute to the novel’s many themes. …show more content…

In between the Eggs and New York City, a strip of land splits the areas apart and that piece of land has been dubbed the Valley of Ashes. There, the omnipotent eyes of T. J. Eckleburg gaze over all of New York, watching the lives of its inhabitants unfold. The eyes themselves are described as “blue and gigantic-their retinas are one yard high. They look out of no face but, instead, from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a nonexistent nose. (27)” The sign tends to be mentioned at turning points in the story or when a secret kept by one of the character’s is revealed. For example, the first time the sign is mentioned is when Tom and Nick go to meet Tom’s mistress in New York. Later when Tom, Nick, Gatsby, Jordan, and Daisy all head to the Plaza hotel in New York the day Myrtle Wilson was ran over, they pass under the oculist’s watchful eyes. The sign has a mysterious aura about it, almost as if it knows all the skeletons people have locked away in their closets, but why are they symbolic to the

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