Who is T.J. Eckelberg? What is his significance to the novel? - ProProfs Discuss
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Who is T.J. Eckelberg? What is his significance to the novel?




This question is part of The Great Gatsby - Chapters 1 - 3
Asked by Cbuckley, Last updated: Jan 10, 2021

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Y. Dawne

Y. Dawne

Avid Reader, Blogger, Motivator

Y. Dawne
Y. Dawne, Content Blogger, Diploma in Journalism, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Answered Feb 07, 2019

In the world of The Great Gatsby, there is no moral center. Every character is shown to be selfish, delusional, or violent. Even Nick, who, as the narrator, is ostensibly meant to reflect on who is good and who is bad, turns out to be kind of a misogynist bigot. It’s not surprising that none of these characters is shown to have faith of any kind.

The closest any of them come to being led by an outside force, or voice of authority, is when Tom seems swayed by the super racist arguments of a book about how minorities are about to overwhelm whites. So it makes sense that Nick, whose job it is to watch everyone else and describe their actions, pays attention to something else that seems to also be watching – the billboard with the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg.

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John Smith

John Smith

John Smith
John Smith

Answered Apr 12, 2017

T.J. Eckelberg is the doctor whose face is on a torn up billboard in the Valley of the Ashes. It stands for two things one T.S. Eliot, who wrote the poem Valley of the Ashes in which God lets paradise go to ruins because of their sins. In this way the eyes of the doctor represent the eyes of God who look over the valley in disapproval.
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