Why is the billboard not introduced as such, but as "the eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg" in chapter two when the valley of ashes is introduced?

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dneshan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The billboard advertising Dr. TJ Eckleberg over the Valley of Ashes is not described as a billboard because it has a much greater significance in the novel than just that of an advertisement for an eye doctor.  The eyes that are present in the billboard are symbolic of a god-like figure, even God, looking over the Valley of Ashes and all corrupt events that take place in the novel.  If Nick had described it as simply a billboard, its significance would be lost but since he describes it as a pair of eyes, the reader associates vision or someone looking out at everything.

wclay | Student

The eyes of Dr. Eckleburg are obviously a 3rd influence outside of Gatsby and outside of the landscape or 'world' they overlook. Therefore they could represent God, Morality in general or Big Brother.

 

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The Great Gatsby

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