Winter Dreams Essay
Desire is the root of all emotions and future. It gives rise to ambition, love, hope and other things that make people want and strive for what they do not have. However, while desire is the same theme for almost all beginning, the possible endings vary. A story that starts with desire can end in happiness, success and fulfillment. However, it can also end with sadness, poverty and destruction. Desire defines the life of Dexter. Desire is the origin of his winter dreams. Fitzgerald’s “Winter Dreams” describes a man’s desire to achieve success, wealth and love. (“Fitzgerald, F.
Scott”) The story “Winter Dreams” is a work of a historian. It is a work of a historian whose task is to trace his own life history. The people in the story are human. They are human, not in the sense that they are not animals. They are human because they feel. The main character, Dexter, is a mixture of feelings, values and emotions. Through him, a contrast is created with other people, including the other main character Judy Jones, defining him and explaining how and why he acts and feels a particular way. Again, the most human aspect of people that is described in the story is desire.
It includes desire for love, for success, for women and for distinction. Desire induces men to feel dissatisfaction. It drives to want more and to dream more. Complete satisfaction is something that men rarely achieve. It is also because of desire that men compare themselves continuously with other men. Dexter is no different. The difference he finds to exist based on his comparison serves as his standard for himself. Therefore, “[h]e knew the sort of men they were–the men who when he first went to college had entered from the great prep schools with graceful clothes and the deep tan of healthy summers.
He had seen that, in one sense, he was better than these men. He was newer and stronger. ” (Fitzgerald) This is the base of ambition and desire for success. Rarely are other people’s success completely disassociated from people’s own ambition. This is why people in the society idolize other people and have role models, whether such role models are specific people or not. These idols symbolize what people want to become, just like Dexter want to have what successful people have. Just like in the story, “[h]e wanted not association with glittering things and glittering people–he wanted the glittering things themselves.
” (Fitzgerald) The story also describes men’s desire for reliability. In the story, “[m]en were insisting that their Shetland hose and sweaters go to… [Dexter’s] laundry just as they had insisted on a caddy who could find golfballs. ” (Fitzgerald) This reliability helped Dexter succeed. Men like and trust him because he is reliable. In a small way, reliability is also the reason why her relationship with Judy Jones first ended, because unlike him, Judy’s love is unreliable. On the contrary, Irene’s love is reliable. Unfortunately, in the end, Dexter chose that which is unreliable.
The story shows how this is a wrong decision. At the end, he chose Judy, the unreliable. At the end, Judy, the unreliable, did not choose to be with him. American society is portrayed in the story as fragmented. The story shows a big gap between the rich and the poor. For example, “some of the caddies were poor as sin and lived in one-room houses with a neurasthenic cow in the front yard, but Dexter Green’s father owned the second best grocery-store in Black Bear–the best one was “The Hub,” patronized by the wealthy people from Sherry Island–and Dexter caddied only for pocket-money.
” (Fitzgerald) These fragmentation affects how people treat other people. When Dexter was caddy, he was treated as belonging to the poor sector and he is not treated with as much courtesy as one would treat a rich man. This may be shown in the language used by people such as the language used by the caddy master to Dexter when the former said, “”Well? … What you standing there like a dummy for? Go pick up the young lady’s clubs. ” However, later on, when Dexter already has his own business, he was treated with more respect. In fact, he can already play golf with people for whom he caddied before.
Fitzgerald’s treatment of the subjects in the story and of the two main characters defines his view on life as a cycle of good and bad. Sometime, men are on top of the cycle, with all the good things happening around them going well. Judy’s life seemed to be always in this stage. Everything she wants, she gets. However, in the end, she experienced being on the other side of the cycle, with the things happening around her going bad. In the end, she is depicted to have an unhappy marriage, with her beauty—the source of all her joy fading away. Dexter’s life is more turbulent.
While Judy’s life in the story is divided into the earlier half being happy and the latter part being sad, the good and the bad in Dexter’s life is more scattered in the story. Hope is depicted as something that never ends. Hope is often seen to come with desire. Desire describes what people want. Hope makes people believe that they can achieve what they want. Often, people limit the degree by which they will entertain hope. When something is unachievable, hope becomes useless. Therefore, Dexter later on tried to give up his hope of ending with Judy Jones, and tried to divert his attention to Irene Scheerer, a more reliable aim.
However, hope is not only forever. Sometimes, it is also persistent and stubborn that when Judy crossed his path again, Dexter left Irene and chose Judy again, with the hope that Judy Jones will already be forever. And this brings us to love. Love changes everything. It changes a person’s focus and , like Dexter, make a person’s life revolve around the person he loves. Love can make a proud man bend. Dexter is proud, but “[he] surrendered a part of himself to the most direct and unprincipled personality with which he had ever come in contact. Whatever Judy wanted, she went after with the full pressure of her charm.
” Love also enhances memory. Judy, from the first time he saw her, has been forever imprinted in Dexter’s memory that when he saw her again, he remembers her face and even notice the changes despite the passage of time. Lastly, the story shows that love and life does not always end in a happy ending. Not all desires are achieved. Some dreams have to be given up. Works Cited “Fitzgerald, F. Scott. ” eNotes. com. 28 Mar. 2007. <http://www. enotes. com/short-story-criticism/fitzgerald-f-scott>. Fitzgerald, F. Scott. “Winter Dreams. ” 21 Jan. 1998. University of South Carolina. 28 Mar. 2007 < http://www. sc. edu/fitzgerald/winter/winter. html>.