25 January 2015
Winter Dreams by F. Scott Fitzgerald is an encompassing tale of a man by the name of Dexter Green, who is looking to fast track his way to fame and fortune. Though from a middle class background, the main character is having a “tough of war” relationship with himself and society because he is attempting to be successful, gain social clout, be wealth, attract the eye of Ms. Judy Jones, and also be happy with himself. Fitzgerald uses the structure of the story to antagonize the reader to believe the conflict is only about social class for the main character but the real structure of the story is about emotional effects of changing social status, while neglecting to be true to one’s own self.
The structure of this short story is the path from rags to riches through the eyes of Dexter Green, who at the beginning of the story is a golf caddy. He is described by one of the patrons, Mr. Jones “...and said that Dexter was the best caddy in the club and wouldn’t he decide not to quit if Mr. Jones made it worth his while…” (Fitzgerald 1831). This excerpt describes Dexter’s work ethic as being diligent and hardworking, yet he is looking for an external outlet from Mr. Jones who is wealthy. Dexter’s character as a middle class caddy is described as “willing, intelligent, quiet, honest and grateful” (Fitzgerald 1831). Yet, internal though he is from a meek upbringing, he wants more. Dexter is structurally attempting to climb the social ladder for riches and wealth thinking it will provide happiness. He soon is overcome with envy because he, unlike his future wealthy counterparts, had to get his social status by working hard for it. As he describes to Ms. Judy Jones, the idealistic beautiful woman who caught his eye, “I’m nobody...my career is largely a matter of futures” (Fitzgerald 1838). Dexter is psychologically delusional because he believes wealth will buy him happiness.
F. Scott Fitzgerald uses the symbolism of Dexter’s winter dreams to captivate the reader into believing social success, and status comes at a cost, and the sacrifice is happiness for wealth. His imagery of winter, “In the fall when the days became crisp and grey and the long Minnesota winter shutdown like the white lid of a box, Dexter’s skis moved over the snow that hid the fairways of the golf course. At these times the country gave him a feeling of profound melancholy...when he crossed the hills the wind blew cold as misery…” (Fitzgerald 1830). This excerpt is expressing the emotions Dexter felt because he did not have yet the social status he achieved. It is imagery for Dexter being unhappy and filled with desperation as he skies over the golf course. Golf courses were for the rich and he was merely just a caddy. Even though it is described he is only working for pocket money, the stereotype of being poor was associated with his title, coinciding with his thoughts of wanting more wealth. The winter dreams are symbolisms of depression, even though his dreams are ones of aspiration which he achieves like becoming wealthy and being a golf sensation, as well as getting the ideal beauty queen girl, he is still miserable. The winter season also plays irony in this story because winter is a season of things dying and not growing. It is a season marked by unbearable cold to help make nature more susceptible for new things to grow. It is ironic Fitzgerald uses this theme to describe one man’s ambition to grow successful and wealthy when this is a season for things to go badly, which ultimately do internally for the main character by him being unhappy. Winter is not vibrant