The Great Gatsby Cover Analysis

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade November 2001

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The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, portrays the Jazz Age and the people living during the time. The reader watches the unfortunate story of the mysterious Jay Gatsby and his love for Daisy Buchanan through the eyes of Nick Carraway. His semi-involved character witnesses the events unfold right in front of his eyes as he lives next door to Gatsby. Critics often regard this tale of love, betrayal, and immoral living an essential classic for all high-school students.

The cover provides an excellent source of symbolism and insight into meaning of the novel. The sad, hypnotic eyes of a woman shine through the night sky like two headlights. Inside the eyes, the irises appear as lounging nude women. A green tear streams down from the one eye and vivid red lips complete the face. No nose or other recognizable facial forms appear on this figure, but a few dark streaks behind the title suggest hairlines.

Other dark lines resemble the outline of a street. Brightly colored lights glow on the ground beneath the visage.

The cover art applies to many aspects of the story, specifically symbols and characters. The eyes represent a direct reference to those of Dr. T. J. Eckleburg on the billboard in the city. Both sets of eyes seem eerily ominous, yet they also have a mystical quality about them, almost god-like in their appearance. The irises symbolize Gatsby's sexuality and his views about Daisy. He watches Daisy with lustful eyes and the inner eye could signify his dreams about his future with her. Emerging from the center of the cover, the bright red lips suggest the sensuality of Daisy.

Dripping down the cheek of the face, a green tear stands out from the dark background. This tear represents several things. First, it stands...