18th September 2010
What can we learn about Fitzgerald’s literary concerns from Winter Dreams?
In this essay I am going to analyze the literary concerns of F. Scott Fitzgerald in Winter Dreams.
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story ‘Winter Dreams’ first appeared in the Metropolitan Magazine, December 1922. ‘Winter Dreams’ tells the story of Dexter Green and the pursuit of his dreams as he aspires to be one of the ‘old money elite’, from his humble beginnings as a caddie at a golf club to becoming one of the richest men in New York City.
The first and foremost central theme to ‘Winter Dreams’, and possibly Fitzgerald’s greatest literary concern, and concern in his own life, is the urge for self achievement. For Fitzgerald himself ‘the desire for success was much more important than the reality’, this quotation is taken from the documentary ‘American Masters’, it explains much about Fitzgerald and why he wrote ‘Winter Dreams’. The protagonist Dexter Green of ‘Winter Dreams’, may have been based upon Fitzgerald himself, both spend their lives dreaming of success and happiness, yet never achieve it due to these very dreams, they could never live up to the greatness they imagined. Fitzgerald dreamt of being ‘king of all the world’ as a boy and never truly grew out of these ideas of grandeur, while Dexter fantasized of the idea of the upper class, the ideal life and being ‘surrounded by an admiring crowd’.
A key theme in ‘Winter Dreams’ is the difference between social classes, or more specifically ‘new money’ versus ‘old money’. Fitzgerald was always very interested in the difference between social classes especially ‘old and new money’; his later novel ‘The Great Gatsby’ also features this theme. Fitzgerald was once quoted:
"Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft where we are hard, and cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you...
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