In The Great Gatsby, could the library in Chapter 3 be described as a symbol of education? I realize that it's mainly a symbol of Gatsby's wealth, however, I also thought it could show Gatsby's education seing that the books are 'un-cut', or unread. Does this make sense? And could someone help me think of more to add on to the explanation of how to connects to education? Thanks!

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

If the library and the books in it were used, yes - it could be a reflection of Gatsby's varied interests and education. Unfortunately, however, the library - as with much of the rest of Gatsby's mansion - is intended for show, to impress others, rather than for actual use for gaining knowledge.

The man inspecting the library shows Jordan and Nick a random book, Stoddard Lectures, Volume One. He is surprised and impressed to realize that it is an actual book.

"See!" he cried triumphantly. "It's a bona-fide piece of printed matter. It fooled me...What realism! Knew when to stop, too-didn't cut the pages."

The book is brand new and has never been read. The pages were printed and bound into the book's cover on folded sheets of paper, several pages on each sheet. In order for the book to be made readable, the folded edges of the paper would need to be cut or slit to create separate, individual pages in the book.


Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial