There’s no question that the anthology Fiction 100 does precisely what it sets out to do: highlight thoroughly curated short stories that represent each aspect of the craft, from short prose to anecdotes. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s work, “Winter season Dreams,” suits perfectly with this collection. A master of the short story, Fitzgerald made his mark in publications like Esquire and The Saturday Evening Post (Bruccoli 1). He frequently went back to styles that dominated his early adult years: success, love, track record, and product gain, of which “Winter season Dreams” is an excellent example. Taking the American “rags to riches” story and turning it on its head, this masterpiece keeps magic throughout with a strong sense of hope and possibility, abundant scenes, a widely relatable theme, and strong discussion– a mix which produces and preserves an unique luminosity that has actually endured time.
The first thing readers experience with “Winter season Dreams” is relatively apparent, but must be stated: the title alone hints at its haunting quality. By referencing “dreams,” we naturally understand that some components may be remarkable, inconsistent, wonderful, or unfulfilled. The title represents Dexter’s longing, and while it shows the power of dreaming and the possibilities that might come from a sense of endless possibility, it likewise hints at dissatisfactions, because dreams do not always become a reality. This sense of possibility instilled in the very first page of this story continues to carry over. In truth, it radiates off every page and is straight accountable for this story’s credibility as effective and luminescent. The first component is the possibility of monetary success. In “Winter season Dreams,” Dexter climbs the ladder, cleverly leveraging his education and wise organisation sense to purchase a laundry service, quickly “making more money than any guy my age in the Northwest” (Fitzgerald 4). Dexter’s innate understanding of the finer things in life assists him, and shows that, despite the fact that his mom “was a Bohemian of the peasant class and she had actually talked broken English till the end of her days,” he might reach the monetary convenience of his peers (4 ). Fitzgerald then enhances the pervading sense of possibility with a wry acknowledgment of what it requires to “make it.” Fitzgerald intimates that Dexter will be successful early on, not simply for his foresight in stopping his very first position as a caddy, but his inherent knowledge of his potential and its constraints. Fitzgerald provides us a chance to reflect on the vicious truth of those born to a lower station; Dexter knows that “recklessness was for his children” (4 ). Confidence pushes him forward, and he progresses seemingly effortlessly. Fitzgerald makes no referrals to Dexter’s financial battles, minutes of doubt, or mistakes, and this alone is like a dream.
The sense of possibility that shines through does so due to the fact that Dexter picks his future. He is, through his own effort, simply one generation away from ultimate success (4 ). Fitzgerald shows that Dexter, while being of peasant stock, is in fact much better than the equivalents he seeks to replicate. He is more powerful; he is made to strive, and if he does, he will succeed. This is a relatable particular to lots of readers then and now, and as Fitzgerald noted “He had seen that, in one sense, he was better than those guys. He was more recent and stronger” (4 ). Dexter admits that he may be attempting to replicate their ways through mindful study, but at the exact same time, his basic materials are really of remarkable quality. He might be behind in opportunity in the start, but he is ahead in drive and in ability. As the storyteller observes, “Everything about him abundant males’s kids were peddling bonds precariously, or investing patrimonies precariously, or plodding through the two lots volumes of the ‘George Washington Commercial Course’ (1 ). Dexter, obviously, was not: he was making his very first of lots of reasonable investments.
Fitzgerald paints an image that, with success, one can get anything one desires, from respect, to a love item, to a leading task. Dexter fulfills Judy Green due to the fact that he takes a trip in the exact same circles; he has the opportunity to court her because he has money. We discover that he has been given this chance over Judy’s former beau, a fine but pauper about whom Judy laments “My interest in him wasn’t strong enough to survive the shock” (4 ). He keeps in mind being a “happy, desirous little kid,” and we remind ourselves that his drive and desire has actually currently gotten him lots of things in life.
Environment adds a special quality to Fitzgerald’s work, adding to a sense of increased drama. Early on, our primary character, Dexter, is driven to make the most of himself, and the dead Midwestern winter resembles a blank canvas, ready to work as a backdrop to his hopes and goals. We feel Dexter’s frustration with his existing circumstance, and we feel him munching at the bit to change his situations and prevent the dreadful winter: “At these times the nation gave him a sensation of profound melancholy– it upset him that the links ought to lie in enforced fallowness, haunted by rough sparrows for the long season” (Fitzgerald 1). Later, when Dexter received the news that Judy’s appeal has actually faded, he “put down on his lounge and looked out the window at the New York skyline into which the sun was sinking in dull beautiful tones of pink and gold” (9 ). At numerous points in the story, our primary character’s actions are set off by a sweeping description of his surroundings, as if the scenario were scorched into his memory (and ours). These scenes bookend the story, likewise appearing in the very first paragraph: “It was bleak, too, that on the tees where the gay colors in summertime fluttered in summer season there were now only the desolate sand-boxes knee-deep in crusted ice” (1 ).
The theme of hope extends beyond our main character’s belief in himself, however his longing for somebody he might not have. Judy might have broken off the engagement, however a little part of Dexter remembered the “deep joy” that he had actually shared with her. Even gladly married, he could still keep the impression that Judy may give him another possibility, lost in her beaus, courting, and frippery. While he changed, he expected her to stay, taken shape, and ever just out-of-reach.
Experts claim that not only is Fitzgerald’s work powerful by itself, however it acted as the basis for Fitzgerald’s bestselling, renowned novel, The Great Gatsby. The themes and concerns resolved in this story were so engaging that the author reviewed them consistently (not just in Winter Dreams, however in All the Sad Young Guys and The Lovely and The Damned). He could not shake the draw of product wealth, and the possible vacuum that still plagued a few of America’s the majority of golden of couples. “Winter season Dreams” was the first exploration of this subject. As a Midwesterner, Fitzgerald was thoroughly acquainted with the deep freeze of winter, and he taps into the unhappy undertones of his protagonist’s life, his unrequited loves, and the basic tone of the story. What also makes “Winter season Dreams” so luminescent, beyond style, is the parallel between Dexter Green and F. Scott Fitzgerald himself. Fitzgerald was a Midwesterner and was all too acquainted with the frigid temperature levels that formed his youth. More significantly, as a Princeton graduate, he knew the advantages of the upper class, but had a hard time to afford even the fundamentals. He fulfilled Ginevra King, a socialite, and was inspired by her as a “just out of reach” woman who drove him to make something of himself (Bruccoli). Later, Fitzgerald courted Zelda Sayre, by all accounts captivating, lovely, and wealthy, but was not able to convince her to wed him while he struggled financially. This real-life inspiration added a poignancy and authenticity to it that sticks in our consciousness. “Winter season Dreams” is likewise luminous due to the fact that it takes an unusual bend at the end. It is extremely memorable because it does not end in a favorable way. Rather, our lead character battles to later on feels like he settled, and then finds that the woman he held up on a pedestal also settled. It’s haunting, and it’s also highly relatable to the average reader. Even Judy shows that product belongings aren’t everything: she laments, in front of the “fantastic white bulk” of her dad’s home, “I’m more beautiful than any person else. Why can’t I be happy?” (8 ). She may have everything, possession-wise, however she still feels that she is doing not have.
“Winter season Dreams” is a classic, relatable narrative. Dexter Green strives to achieve a lady simply out of reach, and he understands that she is out of his league. She winds up marrying somebody else, and he pines for her while still attempting to settle with a more suitable, albeit unexciting match. The number of readers have learned the essential, however unpleasant, lessons of compromise, and for the number of people will this be among many experiences?
Bruccoli, Matthew J., editor. “A Short Life of Fitzgerald.” F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Life in Letters, Scribner, 2010, library.sc.edu/spcoll/fitzgerald/biography.html.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. “Winter Dreams.” ENG 494, public.wsu.edu/~campbelld/engl494/winterdreams.pdf.
Pickering, James H. Fiction 100: An Anthology of Brief Fiction. Pearson, 2016.