What Does “Owl Eyes” Reveal about Gatsby’s Books?

Fitzgerald’s books are rich in symbolism that fills the characters with deep symbolic meanings. Owl Eyes shows wisdom, which makes him different from the rest of Gatsby’s guests. Unlike others, he knows how to distinguish the real from the fake. He is astonished that in a world of false, the only real thing is books.

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Many writers use symbols that indirectly and deeply characterize the characters. It is done to convey the mood of the described reality to the reader and the relationship between them. The society in which they live is also an essential element. Fitzgerald follows this tradition in The Great Gatsby since this work is full of symbols. Understanding them helps the reader feel the atmosphere of American reality in the roaring twenties. Each sign is the fruit of F. S. Fitzgerald’s skill, clearly characterizing contemporary American society.

Owl Eyes is a cameo character in the book. He meets the reader in the third chapter at one of Gatsby’s parties. Owl Eyes sees the Gatsby mansion as a kind of decoration. When he sees that the books on the shelves are real, he says: “Absolutely real – have pages and everything. I thought they’d be a nice durable cardboard.” This character unconsciously realizes that everything in their society is staged and fake. So, his reaction of surprise is genuine.

Ancient Greeks saw the owl as a symbol of wisdom. In Fitzgerald’s novel, this image retains its meaning. The character in question, as a rule, is in the library – the beacons of knowledge. Owl Eyes also happens to be the only Gatsby’s party guest to attend his funeral. Thus, the author shows that this character is a symbol of those few who can distinguish real from false. He is the only one who retains fundamental human qualities.


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