UNDERSTANDING THE FALSE EYES OF “GOD” SYMBOL- AN OBJECT OR ACTION THAT STANDS FOR SOMETHING ELSE BACKGROUND INFORMATION TIMES ARE CHANGING Modernity Literary and cultural movement Concerned itself with the present (NOT the past) Focus was shifted from reality to introspective reflection and abstract images Industrialism The Age of the Machine People no longer did ALL of the work Machines allowed for a better, more complex life Religious tone of post-WWI era No longer concerned themselves with an omnipresent being who controlled everything and everyone Moves toward self-seeking and self-reliance WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE BILLBOARD? WHAT WE KNOW Located in the Valley of Ashes Gigantic blue eyes with yellow rimmed glasses “But above the grey land and the spasms of bleak dust which drift endlessly over it, you perceive, after a moment, the eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg” (35). “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 nonexistent nose” (35). The billboard is advertising for someone of importance that has faded away “…his eyes, dimmed a little by many paintless days under sun and rain, brood on over the summer dumping ground” (35). WHAT CONCLUSIONS CAN BE DRAWN? SYMBOLISM The billboard represents the eyes of God in a morally broken America The billboard represents that God is still present even when people reject Him or don’t seek Him The billboard watches over the very place that Tom picks up his mistress– in a town that is so polluted with ashes from all of the factories The billboard still stands even though the paint and quality of the structure are clearly neglected Eternal Blindness Moral decay of the time– people looking for satisfaction, but ending up broken DR. T. J. ECKLEBURG’S BILLBOARD AND ITS EERIE EYES ARE THE EYES OF GOD IN A POST-INDUSTRIAL, MODERN AGE. Do you agree with this statement? Write a paragraph to explain your answer.