Fitzgerald's Theme in 'Winter Dreams'

Updated June 13, 2017

The Problem of Wealth

The title of the work serves as a play on the notion of the American Dream. Dexter Green's notions of the happiness wealth would buy him, fostered during the springtime of his youth, are revealed as empty in the winter of his maturity. As an adolescent, Dexter becomes enchanted with the wealth he observes as a golf caddie. After some initial success in business, he becomes enamored with a socialite, Judy Jones. With Judy, Fitzgerald shows how individuals become commodities in a wealth-obsessed society. To all the men around her, Dexter included, Judy is nothing more than a pretty accouterment. Her physical beauty is repeatedly emphasized, as is her superficiality and callousness. At the end of the story, Dexter learns that Judy is a housewife in an unhappy marriage, and has lost her looks. Bereft of the trait that gave her value, Judy has become figuratively impoverished, thus revealing the barrenness of Dexter’s own dreams.

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About the Author

Douglas Matus is the travel writer for "West Fort Worth Lifestyle" magazine, and spent four years as the Director of Humanities for a college-prep school in Austin. Since 2005, he has published articles on education, travel and culture in such publications as "Nexus," "People's World" and "USA Today." Matus received an Education Pioneers fellowship in 2010 and an MFA from CalArts in 2011.