In The Great Gatsby, what is the significance of Owl Eyes in the library?

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Michael Otis eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One afternoon, not long after he has moved into a rented house in West Egg on Long Island Sound, Nick Carraway receives an invitation to one of Gatsby's nightly and infamously decadent garden parties. Seated with some of the intoxicated guests, Nick hears outlandish rumours about his incognito host: That Gatsby is related to Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany; that he once killed a man; that he spied for the Germans during the Great War; and that he was a graduate of Oxford University. Later, touring Gatsby's house with the narcissistic Jordan Baker, in the library he happens across a bespectacled man he nicknames "Owl Eyes". Although certain that Gatsby is putting on an elaborate charade, Owl Eyes is amazed that the books in the library are real. But he reads that as well, comparing Gatsby to a "regular [David] Belasco", an American theatrical producer and impresario, famous for his highly naturalistic stage sets.  

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The Great Gatsby

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