Dan Cody was the man who single-handedly made James Gatz into the well-known Jay Gatsby. Dan Cody was was approximately 50 years old when he and Gatsby met; he was a product of the Nevada silver fields, the Yukon, and many other types of "rushes". Gatsby and Cody met each other while Cody was on his boat and Gatsby warned him of a storm coming. After that day he made Gatsby his steward, mate, skipper, secretary, and even his jailor. Cody gave him the name "Jay Gatsby", which was the name that everyone in New York knew him by. Gatsby’s job was to watch over Cody when he was drunk because he was a heavy alcoholic. While he was circling the continent three times, Gatsby fell in love with luxury and wealth. When Dan Cody eventually died he left Gatsby $25,000, but Dan Cody‘s mistress Ella Kaye did not allow Cody to leave Gatsby the money, thus leaving Gatsby poor just as he was before he had been introduced to Dan Cody. Dan Cody's memory gave Gatsby the strength to keep going on and find a way to become rich on his own account.
The character of Dan Cody in The Great Gatsby represents the typical American in the 1920's. He was rich and consumed in material items and luxury, which is how the people of the 1920's are portrayed today. He also represents the "new money" of the 1920's, which was the money that was gained through the booming economy in the 1920's. A lot of people became rich very quickly through the economy, and through many "easy opportunities" in the United States during that era. He became rich and materialistic during this era very quickly, thus representing the "new money" of the 1920's. Additionally, Dan Cody represented Jay Gatsby's father-figure and his role-model in the novel.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. "Chapter 6." The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner, 2004. Print. "Great Gatsby Website - 1999." FCPS Home Page Redirect Page. Web. 18 May 2010.