What is the significance fo the owl eyed man?  

Expert Answers
jeff-hauge eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.


Read the study guide:
The Great Gatsby

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question