James Truslow Adams once said, "The American Dream is the dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement." The American Dream, although different for every American, is a personal paradise, to which all aspire. It promises prosperity and self-fulfillment as well as rewards for hard work and self-reliance. In "Winter Dreams," a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the protagonist Dexter Green strives to obtain his dream in gaining the status of what he considers to be "elite." This story demonstrates how personal ambition and networking presents an opportunity for success and the achievement of the American Dream. However, life based on materialism alone can be a corruption rather than a fulfillment of the American Dream.
Dexter Green has worked as a caddie at the Sherry Island Golf Club since he was fourteen years old to help make connections with the wealthy players for his future as the nouveau riche. His goal to achieve wealth and status affects the way he lives his life, and consequently the choices he makes. Even though Dexter has grown up in a well-to-do family, his desire to achieve his own American Dream is his incentive for personal success. Consequently, his dreams of status, wealth, and ability are what ultimately lead to the demise of his winter dreams.
Because Dexter feels it is essential to achieve a high status quo in order to feel important, he believes that if he obtains solid connections with the golfers of the club, he will gain the opportunity to one day join the popular club. One of the ways Dexter tries to strive for an admired status is through Judy Jones. Judy is the epitome of success and is portrayed as the typical American dream; beautiful and charming, but with an ungodliness' in spirit. Fitzgerald states, "Judy Jones, a slender enameled doll in the cloth of gold: gold in a band at her head, gold in two slipper points at her dress's...
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