Winter Dreams

Paper #3

I honestly thought man had the ability to do the worst things imaginable like cheating, lying, stealing, conniving, or conspiring. I only slightly changed that opinion once I realized a woman could be much worse. F. Scott Fitzgerald must have encountered a similar woman sometime in his life. His amazing piece, Winter Dreams, focuses one boy’s battle with his socioeconomic status and one of the vilest things on earth: a real bitch.

The title Winter Dreams alone steers the reader to a sense of how cruel the lead female character is. Surely if this young man had encountered a pleasant girl, the title would have been more like Wet Dream. Our protagonist Dexter Green does not have such luck; he has the unfortunate experience of encountering a spoiled little brat while performing his job as a caddy. “Boy! “Boy— beyond question he was addressed. Not only that, but he was treated to that absurd smile, that preposterous smile—the memory of which at least a dozen men were to carry into middle age.” (101) The gaul of this little girl, Judy Jones, to address Dexter in this manner would be enough for some to lose their job on the spot. Later, Judy hits a ball on the course that accidentally connects with another golfer’s abdomen. Instead of apologizing, the girl acts as if the man is an object and treats him in an inhuman way. “Do you mind if we go through?” “You hit me in the stomach,” declared Mr. Hedrick wildly. “Did I?” The girl approached the group of men. “I’m sorry. I yelled ‘Fore!” She continued to explain what happened to a friend, “Here I am! I’d have gone on the green except that I hit something.” Apparently, the golfer is nothing more than something… some entity with no identity.

Dexter eventually forms some type of relationship with Judy Jones and embarks on a journey of pain and torment. One can easily relate to Dexter if he has ever encountered a girl who took him for granted and acted with indifference. “She had done everything to him except to criticize him—this she had not done—it seemed to him only because it might have sullied the utter indifference she manifested and sincerely felt toward him.” Luckily, Dexter is intelligent and perceptive and so he uses his logical mind to overcome his feelings toward Judy. “…it had occurred to him that he could not have Judy Jones. He had to beat this into his mind but he convinced himself at last. He lay awake at night for a while and argued it over. He told himself the trouble and the pain she caused him; he enumerated her glaring deficiencies as a wife.” How true this is! I’ve certainly encountered this very situation and only survived due to advice from friends and through careful consideration.

The young social leech uses men as a resource, which comparatively is just as bad as a man using a woman as an object. The little minx has a destructive personality and her selfishness overrides any of her positive attributes. The dagger she held through his heart goes deeper when they reunite and she talks with enormous gaul, “I’m awfully tired with everything, darling.” She called everyone darling, endowing the endearment with careless, individual camaraderie. ‘I wish you’d marry me.” (112) The directness of the statement confused him. He should have told her he was getting married but he could not. She continues, “I think we’d get along, she continued, on the same note, ‘unless probably you’ve forgotten me and fallen in love with another girl.” Her confidence amazed him! She had said, in effect, that she found such a thing impossible to believe, that if it were true he had merely committed a childish indiscretion—and probably to show off. She would forgive him, because it was not a matter of any moment but rather something to be brushed aside lightly. She continues with her impersonal compliments even breaking down to cry—something he had never seen. She obviously only sought to get Dexter back because she likes what she cannot have. As soon as she won him back, she dumped him once again.

In a nice turn of