I am reminded of Stephen Crane's short story "The Blue Hotel." Very near the end of this great story the Swede is killed by the gambler, and this section closes with these final words:
The corpse of the Swede, alone in the saloon, had its eyes fixed upon a dreadful legend that dwelt a-top of the cash-machine. "This registers the amount of your purchase."
No doubt the billboard showing the eyes of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg is intended to have the same effect on the reader. Crane apparently calls the sign on tope of the cash-machine "a dreadful legend" because it is totally meaningless as applied to the death that has just taken place. The same may be true of the eyes of Dr. Eckleburg. They see nothing and care nothing about the passing parade of humanity with their hopes and dreams. If life is meaningless, then any legend attached to any man's life or death would seem to be equally appropriate.