Eyes of TJ Eckleburg
The eyes symbolize the loss of spiritual values in America. The billboard was erected to promote the business of an optometrist in Queensborough – the eyes symbolize the growing commercialism of America. Some also say they symbolize God because they watch over the Valley of Ashes and America as a whole which was a moral wasteland.
"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. The eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg are blue and gigantic-their retinas are one yard high. They look out of no face, but, instead, from a pair of enormous yellow spectacles which pass over a non-existent nose. Evidently some wild wag of an oculist set them there to fatten his practice in the borough of Queens, and then sank down himself into eternal blindness, or forgot them and moved away"(Fitzgerald 23-24).
This is the first time the eyes of T.J. Eckleburg are referred to in this book. This passage does not necessarily explain what the eyes mean but it does talk about what the eyes looked like and how it contrasted with its surroundings.
This passage basically gives the billboard a sense of power. Saying that they kept their vigil gives the reader a hint that the billboard means something more than just a billboard. It obviously gives the sense that the eyes are actually watching over the Valley of Ashes.
"'I spoke to her,' he muttered, after a long silence. 'I told her she might fool me but she couldn't fool God. I took her to the window'-with an effort he got up and walked to the rear window and leaned with his face pressed against it-'and I said God knows what you've been doing, everything you've been doing. You may fool me, but you can't fool God. Standing behind him, Michael is saw him with a shock that he was looking at the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg, which had just emerged, pale and enormous, from the dissolving night. 'God sees everything,' repeated Wilson. (Fitzgerald 159-160)
This passage actually gives the eyes credit for being God-like without saying it outright. I think Fitzgerald talks about God seeing everything then talking about the billboard intentionally to imply this. Wilson's last statement also further implies that the eyes are God-like.
"I followed him over a low whitewashed railroad fence, and we walked back a hundred yards along the road under Doctor Eckleburg's persistent stare." (Fitzgerald 24)
This passage also gives the reader a sense that the eyes are some sort of God-like eyes. It doesn't relate God with the eyes until later in the book but it does imply that the eyes actually watch over the Valley of Ashes.
"Over the ashheaps the giant eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg kept their vigil, but I perceived, after a moment, that other eyes were regarding us with peculiar intensity from less than twenty feet away"(Fitgerald Chapter 7)

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