The eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg are a pair of fading, bespectacled eyes painted on an old advertising billboard over the valley of ashes. They may represent God staring down upon and judging American society as a moral wasteland, though the novel never makes this point explicitly. Instead, throughout the novel, Fitzgerald suggests that symbols only have meaning because characters instill them with meaning. The connection between the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg and God exists only in George Wilson’s grief-stricken mind. This lack of concrete significance contributes to the unsettling nature of the image. Thus, the eyes also come to represent the essential meaninglessness of the world and the arbitrariness of the mental process by which people invest objects with meaning. Nick explores these ideas in Chapter 8, when he imagines Gatsby’s final thoughts as a depressed consideration of the emptiness of symbols and dreams.
This recipe comes from a reprint of a 1934 book of cocktails called Boothby’s World Drinks and How to Mix Them . The original recipe calls for honey, which I’ve made into a syrup so that it will mix into the drink more efficiently. The Boothby’s recipe calls for 1 spoon of honey, but I’ve doubled the amount due to the fact that my honey simple syrup is diluted to half the sweetness of plain honey. Today’s gin is much smoother and tastier than bathtub gin, so feel free to cut the honey syrup in half—it will still be drinkable and the sweetness won’t be quite so overpowering.