In Chapter 2 of The Great Gatsby, the narrator describes the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg: But above the gray land and the spasms of bleak dust which drift endlessly over it, you perceive,...

In Chapter 2 of The Great Gatsby, the narrator describes the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg:

But 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.

Why does he say "after a moment"?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In The Great Gatsby, the Valley of Ashes through which Tom Buchanan drives is a great grey wasteland of the material from industries, a wasteland evocative of T.S. Eliot's poem, "The Wasteland." In this poem, Eliot bemoans the degraded mess that post-war culture has become. Fitzgerald, greatly affected by this poem, includes this concept in his novel in order to also suggest the waste that occurred during the Jazz Age--not only a waste of industrial resources, but a waste of human resources spent upon the accumulation of material possessions.

This waste of the human potential is symbolized by the dust through which one can see only "after a moment" when this waste settles. When this dust finally comes to rest, the eyes of Dr. T.J.Eckleburg, faded and disappointed from looking at such a waste of American resources, rest upon the highway and Wilson's garage.

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mayarme | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

I'm sorry  but the second paragraph is a little bit difficult , can you explain it more to me please ?

mayarme's profile pic

mayarme | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

I'm sorry, but the second paragraph is a little bit difficult, can you explain it more to me, and thanks.

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