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Winter Dreams

Winter Dreams
"Winter Dreams"
Author Country Language Genre(s) Published in F. Scott Fitzgerald USA English Short story Metropolitan Magazine collected in All The Sad Young Men

Publication type Magazine Short Story Collection Publisher Media type Scribner (book) Print

Publication date December 1922

"Winter Dreams" is a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald that first appeared in Metropolitan Magazine in December 1922, and was collected in All the Sad Young Men in 1926. It is considered one of Fitzgerald's finest stories and is frequently anthologized. In the Fitzgerald canon, it is considered to be in the "Gatsby-cluster," as many of its themes were later expanded upon in his famous novel The Great Gatsby in 1925. Writing his editor Max Perkins in June 1925, Fitzgerald described "Winter Dreams" as "A sort of first draft of the Gatsby idea."[1]

Plot summary
Dexter Green is a middle-class boy who aspires to be part of the "old money" elite. Dexter mentions that he was born in Keeble, Minnesota. His father owns the second most profitable grocery store in the town. He starts out as a teenage golf caddy at a Golf Club in Black Bear Lake, Minnesota, which has been suggested is really White Bear Lake, where Fitzgerald lived for a relatively short time at the Yacht Club. Dexter meets Judy Jones and works under her father, Mortimer Jones, at the club. He clearly has a crush on her. One day, he is assigned to caddy for her but quits instead; he can't abide acting as one of her servants. After college, Dexter gets involved in a partnership in a laundry business. He returns to the Sherry Island Golf Club and is invited to play golf with the men for whom he once caddied. He encounters Judy Jones again on the golf course, only now she is older and amazingly beautiful. Later in the evening Dexter swims to a raft on the lake, and runs into Judy, who is driving a motor boat. She asks him to take over while she rides on a surfboard attached to the boat. After this encounter, Judy invites Dexter to dinner, where their affair begins. He soon finds that he is one of a dozen men she is stringing along. After about 18 months Dexter becomes engaged to Irene Scheerer, a kind but ordinary looking girl, while Judy is vacationing in Florida. When Judy returns, however, she again captures Dexter's heart and asks him to marry her. Dexter breaks off his engagement with Irene, only to be dropped again by Judy a month later. To deal with his heartbreak, Dexter joins the army to fight in World War I. After the War, seven years later, Dexter has become a businessman in New York City. He had become phenomenally rich and hadn't visited his home in years. On a particular day, a man, Devlin, from Detroit visits Dexter for business. During the meeting, Devlin mentions Judy Simms, formerly Judy Jones, the wife of one his friends and explains how she had become a housewife. Dexter becomes interested and learns from Devlin that Judy had settled and her beauty had faded; her husband is also cruel to her. The news hit Dexter hard as he still had love

Winter Dreams and hope for Judy. Later Dexter realizes that his dream is gone and that he can never return home now.

Critical response
Fitzgerald scholar Matthew Bruccoli described "Winter Dreams" as "the strongest of the Gatsby-cluster stories."[2] He continues, "Like the novel, it examines a boy whose ambitions become identified with a selfish rich girl. Indeed, Fitzgerald removed Dexter Green's response to Judy Jones' home from the magazine text and wrote it into the novel as Jay Gatsby's response to Daisy Fay's home." Tim Randell suggests that Winter Dreams should be regarded as one of modernisms crowning achievements because in it Fitzgerald achieves a dialectical metafiction that grasps the production of capitalist ideology within class relations and print culture, including the forms of literary modernism, and Fitzgerald does this in 1922over ten years before Bertolt Brecht coined the term Verfremdungseffekt (alienation effect) to describe an identical use of metafiction in the theatre. He argues that the story's form demonstrates that modernism's concern with a "lack of communal meaning and inescapable subjectivity are false epistemological problems because "[Fitzgerald's] metafiction identifies ruling class interests as the collective origin of meaning and reality for the entire social body and "conveys the possibility of counter, collective meanings within the dialectic of class antagonism.[3]

References
[1] F. Scott Fitzgerald and Matthew J. Bruccoli, ed., A Life in Letters: A New Collection Edited and Annotated by Matthew J. Bruccoli. New York: Scribner's, 1995. p. 121. [2] F. Scott Fitzgerald and Matthew J. Bruccoli, ed., The Short Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald, "Winter Dreams," New York: Scribner's, 1989. p. 236. [3] Tim Randell. "Metafiction and the Ideology of Modernism in Fitzgerald's 'Winter Dreams.'" The F. Scott Fitzgerald Review. 10.1 (2012): 108-121.

External links
Complete Text, sc.edu (http://www.sc.edu/fitzgerald/winterd/winter.html) The New York Times Book Review in March 1926, on All the Sad Young Men (http://www.nytimes.com/books/ 00/12/24/specials/fitzgerald-sad.html) "Metafiction and the Ideology of Modernism in Fitzgerald's 'Winter Dreams'" by Tim Randell, from The F. Scott Fitzgerald Review on JSTOR (http://www.jstor.org/stable/41693881)

Article Sources and Contributors

Article Sources and Contributors


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