The Great Gatsby Questions and Answers
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Who is the millionaire yacht owner in The Great Gatsby?  

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Dan Cody is the name of the millionaire yacht owner, who befriended Jay Gatsby one fateful day on Lake Superior and hired him to be his right-hand man. Dan Cody was fifty years old when he met the young Jay Gatsby and earned his fortune as a tycoon in the metals industry. Dan Cody's wealthy and opulent lifestyle was inspiring to the ambitious Gatsby, who sailed around the world with him for five years. During the five years, Gatsby was employed in various capacities, acting as Cody's steward, mate, skipper, secretary, and even jailer. In addition to Cody's intuitive business sense, he was also an alcoholic and womanizer. Tragically, Dan Cody met an unscrupulous woman named Ella Kaye, who took Gatsby's inheritance from Cody when he "suddenly" passed away. Dan Cody was a very inspirational person in Gatsby's life and motivated him to attain the American Dream. Gatsby also learned the dangers of alcohol from his interactions with Dan Cody and keeps a photograph of Cody on his desk.

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cybil eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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When Gatsby is 17, he meets Dan Cody, an enormously wealthy yacht owner who is impressed by Gatsby's initiative and willingness to work. Cody takes Gatsby onboard his yacht where the young man learns how wealthy people live and behave. This vision of a life he had never seen before inspires him to achieve similar success.

A man of fifty, Cody made his money in the silver fields (and mining other metals). He represents the pioneer spirit, but he is unfortunately a flawed role model for Gatsby because Cody drinks too much. As a result, Gatsby drinks little as an adult.

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