I'm curious as to the significance of "Doctor T.J. Eckleburg".At several points in the novel Fitzgerald takes time to discuss a sign or a billboard for Doctor T.J. Eckleburg.  The mention of the...

I'm curious as to the significance of "Doctor T.J. Eckleburg".

At several points in the novel Fitzgerald takes time to discuss a sign or a billboard for Doctor T.J. Eckleburg.  The mention of the billboard is vivid at 2 or 3 points in the novel.  I think I'm trying to hear the words Dr. Jekyl as I read the applicable sentences and am trying to understand if it was an intentional comparison that Fitzgerald is trying to make.

Expert Answers
dneshan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The significance of “Doctor TJ Eckleberg” is a symbolic one in the novel “The Great Gatsby”.  The narrator, Nick, refers to this billboard numerous times as he or those in his company rive through the Valley of Ashes.  It seems that it is not really a coincidence that all of the corruption that occurs in the novel occurs either in the Valley of Ashes (Tom’s affair, Myrtle’s murder) or in New York City which can only be reached from the Eggs by crossing through the Valley of Ashes (Gatsby’s corruption in terms of his illegal business, the fight between Tom and Gatsby).  Therefore, the eyes of Dr. TJ Eckleberg which stand above the Valley of Ashes serves as a symbol that someone – some God-like figure – is watching over everything that happens and that no matter what is hidden will always come out in the end.

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The Great Gatsby

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