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Cody was a yachtsman who he worked alongside. The young Gatsby was, at that stage in his life, aimless when he met Cody. The priceless education that Cody left for Jay on how to live was what he did for Gatsby. Cody's picture is onthe wall in Gatsby's mansion.
What Cody actually did for Gatsby was give him a reason "why" to work toward something. He was more like a fatherly influence.
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