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Explain how self-creation, social status, and the idea of success inform the major theme of Winter Dreams by F. Scott Fitzgerald - Essay Example

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Scott Fitzgerald reveals the contemplation of the protagonist, Dexter Green and the dreams that are nurtured by him during the winter. It also describes the upheaval and harmony that characterizes his life through a series of events and…
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Explain how self-creation, social status, and the idea of success inform the major theme of Winter Dreams by F. Scott Fitzgerald
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Explain how self-creation, social status, and the idea of “success” inform the major theme of “Winter Dreams" by F. Scott Fitzgerald The short story Winter Dreams by F. Scott Fitzgerald reveals the contemplation of the protagonist, Dexter Green and the dreams that are nurtured by him during the winter. It also describes the upheaval and harmony that characterizes his life through a series of events and consequences. Although, Dexter is the son of the owner of a renowned grocery store in Minnesota, he embarks on a path of self creation from the beginning when he decides to give up the job of a caddie for which he was considered proficient by the golf players. Winter is symbolic in this story as Dexter’s dreams come into shape during this season when he is not serving as a caddy. His desire and aspiration to come out of the shell of a middle class individual in order to become rich and wealthy is one of the most important aspects of the story, which is propelled by his association with the rich and famous golf players such as Mortimer Jones. The meandering relationship of Dexter with Judy, the daughter of Mortimer Jones depicts an intriguing portrait of his character, as well.
The intention of Dexter to quit his job as a caddy and his vociferous ambition propels him to reach the pinnacle of life. Fitzgerald’s use of such phrases as “second-best grocery store” corresponds with Dexter’s hankering for a certain status in the society which is achieved when he becomes a partner in a laundry. As a matter of fact, his longing for status led him to leave the state school and joining the university even though he was pressed for money. The author of this story has carefully weaved his protagonist, Dexter by providing different shades to his imagination and his urge to change his social status by wrapping it with success. However, amidst different incidents in the story particularly the failure of Dexter to marry Irene proves his infidelity towards her; at the same time, he could not satisfy Judy Jones though Fitzgerald has also mentioned the depth of his feelings for Judy: “It did not take him many hours to decide that he had wanted Judy Jones ever since he was a proud, desirous little boy” (p.7). The story of Winter Dreams describes the ways adopted by people for attaining success which eventually emerge as the most significant reason for unhappiness.
The title of the story justifies the dreams of Dexter that are nourished during the most quiescent and inarticulate season of the year that casts a dark shadow in his life when he attains everything except fulfillment. Thus, the story of his success and the attainment of social status reveal a lot about his character and it is no wonder that he is actually left with a pile of shattered dreams and a broken heart towards the end of the story, which is appropriately demonstrated in the following lines: “He sat perfectly quiet, his nerves in wild clamor afraid that if he moved, he would find her irresistibly in his arms” (p.12).
This same feeling is reiterated when Dexter says: “Long ago, there was something in me, but now that thing is gone. Now that thing is gone, that thing is gone. I cannot cry. I cannot care. That thing will come back no more” (p.14). The dream of Dexter from his teens till the time when he becomes more mature is a story of the contradiction of insight and accomplishment of most people which run on a parallel path that never attains completion. In other words, the dreams that propelled Dexter through self creation, status and success, leaves him with discontent and unhappiness along with queer loneliness.
Reference
Fitzgerald F.Scott. Winter Dreams, 1922, http://mrgunnar.net/files/Winter%20Dreams%20Text.pdf Read More
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