I have to do a dramatic monologue in the role of the billboard of Dr T.J Eckleburg in the Valley of Ashes. What tone of voice would it have? What would it see? What opinions would it have on the characters in the book?
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Wow! This is a good idea. One of the first things that pops into my mind is that billboard. You really need to give the billboard a personality. The best way to do that is to describe what it sees in the way it might feel when it sees it. The billboard really witnesses a lot, doesn’t it?
Distant and judgemental would be phrases I'd use to characterize a potential tone of voice for Dr. Eckleburg.
He is vigilant and constant and he is unmoved by the petty antics and the even more petty rationalizations of the people speeding beneath his gaze. He has a permanence that mocks the fleeting appetites of people like Gatsby, Tom and Daisy.
I would think the tone of Dr T.J Eckleburg would be gloomy, dark, and judgemental. He is surrounded by the ashes of modern living and modern lives. He is the all-seeing eye, albeit a sort of ridiculous one to have so much power (which is part of Fitzgerald's point in the metaphor: the holder of omniscient power is a bit ridiculous and impotent).
Since Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby is a satire on the American Dream, a dream that is sullied by the materialistic and amoral conduct of the flappers, gangsters, and jaded wealthy of the time, Dr. T. J. Eckleburg would observe those people traversing the Valley of Ashes as they go to New York City or to Long Island where the great parties are held in the summer.Therefore, the tone of the voice of Dr. Eclkeburg should be cynical and satiric since he sits above the industrial waste of a careless generation that provides no sympathy for the melancholic Wilson, and cruelly runs over a woman without stopping.
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