Meixi case of wishful thinking. Working hard and

Meixi Xu
English 11
01 November 2018
American Dream Being a Nightmare
In the book ? The Great Gatsby ? , a novel written by Francis Scott Fitzgerald, the American
Dream is a case of wishful thinking. Working hard and amassing a lot of wealth cannot earn a
blissful life for each of the character in the novel. Neither of them are satisfied in their lives.
Fitzgerald uses the billboard to explain the social issues that result into the American dream
turning into the American Nightmare. The symbolism of T.J.Eckleburg is applied to show the
meaningless of believing in American dream. Also, the billboard portrays the influence of a
supernatural power on people’s daily lives as likened to the eyes of Dr.Eckleburg.
The eyes of Dr. Eckleburg symbolize an omniscient god watching the people as they
work. In the middle of queens on the road that the characters take to Manhattan in New York,
there is the billboard depicting disembodied eyes, big and blue in color watching them. The eyes
of doctor Eckleburg are gigantic and there is no face. This brings out the horror in the story.
Furthermore, instead of just talking about a billboard, Nick talks of giant eyes that are constantly
hovering over them. This is an indication the eyes not only watch them but also possess some
control over the people. The description has some element of horror because the eyes are said to
be disembodied, there is no face, and they look over a “non-existent nose.” This is to mean that

the eyes do not represent an entirely benevolent supernatural being. Hence this god does not
guide the people as it is supposed to be.
The eyes of Dr. Eckleburg depicted on the Billboard, symbolizes a god that controls the
people. However, this god does not offer any guidance. It is described as just staring down at the
people and is not benevolent at all. The eyes have an aspect of horror, this does not resemble the
god we know about. The eyes of Dr.Eckleburg on The Billboard are described as ever staring
down at the people on the way to New York where they do their business. Just like God, it
witness everything done by the people in New York. As far as I know, God usually represents
guidance, faith, and offer us correct directions in our lives. However, the eyes of Dr.Eckleburg
just watch the people but do not tell them what to do or not to do, Therefore, they represent a god
who is not like the god we know about. The fact that the eyes have no face means that there is an
innate lack of human spirit and true virtue among the American people. The eyes Dr. Eckleberg
on the billboard represent position of god who does not play the role of guiding the people with
faith. There is no virtue represented by the god that American are seen to stand for in their daily
lives. The eyes do not inspire any virtue that is godly in the American people and so it can be
concluded that they do not guide the people with faith.
The fact that the eyes frown down at the people is an indication that the American dream
is not real and that it is an illusion. The American dream is a nightmare just like the valley of
ashes where the billboard stands frowning down at the people a reminder that there is nothing to
be happy about. For a majority, their hope for opulence and love are just like the ashes. Clearly,
not everyone can be as wealthy as the Buchans.No wonder then that there are so many who are

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like Wilson. Gatsby did not get Daisy eventually after he worked so hard, and his death is such a
The American dream is merely an illusion. The idea that anyone can make it in America
is not tenable. Consequently, it brings disappointment in the end. The struggle to amass wealth in
order to realize happiness and satisfaction in pursuit of the American dream creates a nightmare.
In other words, it is not a guarantee that those who work very hard and create large fortunes
realize their happiness. The eyes of Eckleburg symbolizes a god not helpful to the people as they
try to achieve their dreams. The god symbolized by the eyes of Dr.Eckleburg does not properly
guide the people hence can be blamed in transforming the American dream into the nightmare
that it becomes.


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