Homework Help

What is the significance fo the owl eyed man?  

user profile pic

steve0 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 13, 2012 at 5:16 AM via web

dislike 1 like

What is the significance fo the owl eyed man?

 

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

jeff-hauge | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted March 13, 2012 at 10:08 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

Owl eyes sits drunk in Gatsby's library, marveling at the lengths to which Gatsby has gone to create a false persona. He sees the books in the library are real, but his perception goes further than most. He is able to see that Gatsby has not "cut" any of the books open. Back then, books were sold in a way where the pages had to be cut open. This would make it clear which books are brand new or not. Gatsby's library is full of books that have not been cut. Instead of criticizing Gatsby for being pretentious in having a library full of books he hasn't even opened, he celebrates the fact that Gatsby went to the lengths to create the image that he cares about books.

This further develops the theme of dishonesty in the novel. Gatsby earns his respect for going the extra step of cutting all the pages, because that would give a rather pathetic image of trying “too hard”. Merely having hundreds of books he will never open is effort enough.

Owl Eye's sees more than those around him and will make a reappearance in the novel.

 

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes