F. Scott Fitzgerald Compared: Winter Dreams vs. The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald Compared: Winter Dreams vs. The Great Gatsby

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F. Scott Fitzgerald Compared: Winter Dreams vs. The Great Gatsby The Great Gatsby and Winter Dreams are two pieces of writing by F. Scott Fitzgerald. They both share similar themes, and it could even be argued that The Great Gatsby is an elaboration of Winter Dreams. Both seem to parallel F. Scott Fitzgerald’s real life, although they were both written before most of the paralleled events occurred. Winter Dreams portrays the tale of Dexter Green, an aspiring young man. This short story tells all about his life and ultimately, his success story. But that’s not what this piece of writing is about. It’s about his relationship with Judy Jones, a typical born-with-a-silver- spoon girl who comes from extravagant wealth. Judy Jones is the quintessence of an affluence-seeking gold-digger. When Dexter is in his mid twenties and is involved with her, she dates a dozen or so men on and off at one time. As she is not a Mormon residing in Utah, this makes her a man-using whore. She treats all the men she is with horribly, and whenever one starts to lose interest she takes some time to make him feel special, or as F. Scott Fitzgerald elegantly puts it “she granted them a brief honeyed hour.” We can see from this that she really only cares about what the men have to offer, and not about the men themselves. But why would so many men lust after such an inconsiderate and selfish woman? For the one thing she so immensely spends her time: she portrays herself as someone deserving the lust of many men. She makes everyone feel like she is this unobtainable object of desire. By purporting this image, she acquires suitors left and right. The question I feel I must ask is why do all these men feel like they must quest for her? She has no special talents and only sports physical beauty as a real quantifiable trait. It’s almost as if she has the ability to keep men hypnotized in a state of desire for her. Our protagonist Dexter Green falls into her proverbial trap, and this story enumerates his
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fall into it and how he eventually escapes. But why do so many readers have so much contempt for her? Besides the deceptive money-grubbing tactics and man-trapping methods she employs, I think a lot of it stems from the fact that she really doesn’t have to do anything to set this trap. All she had to do was be born into a rich family and be beautiful, two things that don’t exactly have any sort of work as a stringent requirement. These factors are what make her somewhat of a villain in this short story, although Fitzgerald does not portray her as one. He almost tries to justify her actions through the story, however very subtlety. It’s almost as if he wants her to be like an angel because he himself lusts after her. As his life followed a similar path to Dexter’s, this is not really all that unlikely. We can see where the two pieces of writing cross at a point here. A
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F. Scott Fitzgerald Compared: Winter Dreams vs. The Great Gatsby

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