Transfiguration and The Great Gatsby

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Transfiguration, by Raphael. 1516-1520
In 1500s, Renaissance Art reflected the Catholic Church. In the Transfiguration, the feet of Jesus represent devotion to Christ, told in John 10:42.   

Either in the sixteenth or twenty-first century, God’s eyes focus on society.  The Great Gatsby reminds “The Roaring 20s” that God watches immorality and the inattention towards Him.  Although the Great Gatsby focuses on the 1920s, this concept applies to the modern day. In Transfiguration, Jesus looks down on the good and leaves the bad in darkness.  The devotion to Jesus’s feet directly relates to the eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg watching society.

The Transfiguration illustrates followers’ hands, necks, chests, or body angles toward Jesus’s Feet.  Attention is directed to Jesus.  The Light of God intensifies to the believers and fades to the sinners.  This painting tells us, that the eyes of Christ always remain on us.  Fitzgerald expresses a similar sentiment in The Great Gatsby.  “‘I spoke to her,’ he muttered, after a long silence. ‘I told her she might fool me but she couldn’t fool God. I took her to the window’ – with an effort he got up and walked to the rear window and leaned with his face pressed against it – ‘and I said God knows what you’ve been doing, everything you’ve been doing. You may fool me, but you can’t fool God!’  Standing behind him, Michaelis saw with a shock that he was looking at the eyes of Doctor T. J. Eckleburg, which had just emerged, pale and enormous, from the dissolving night.  ‘God sees everything,’ repeated Wilson ‘That’s an advertisement,’ Michaelis assured him. Something made him turn away from the window and look back into the room. But Wilson stood there a long time, his face close to the window pane, nodding into the twilight.”        

The reward of believing and following God’s can be seen in the peaceful sunlight behind the gloomy dark world.  Just as T.J. Eckleburg looks down on his domain, Jesus (shown in The Transfiguration) stares down on earth until the Day of Judgment.      

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