“Winter Dreams” by Scott Fitzgerald

“Winter Dreams”

“Winter Dreams” by F.S. Fitzgerald is one of the most significant works of the author, where the main idea surrounds the issue of ‘American Dream’ and pursuit of happiness. The author describes the time he lived and tragic history of life of the main hero, named Dexter. The boy who was born in a middle-class family dedicates all his life to the pursuit of fake happiness where the main purpose is acquiring wealth and social status. The main hero cannot free himself from his ‘winter dreams’ and fantasies about love that do not exist and the author shows the dramatic consequences of the main hero’s desires.

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During the whole story, the author describes the real meaning of ‘American Dream’ and tragedy of the American society. The main hero, Dexter Gree, is a middle-class boy, whose main goal is to become one of those ‘old money’ elite and, as a result, he wants to dedicate all his life to achieve this goal. The main event that happens in his life and consequently influences all his actions is a meeting with a girl named Judy with whom he falls in love. Dexter have feelings to her, however, he is rejected by her because of his social status. Consequently, this event influences all his life and the main goal of the hero is to achieve the success and gain wealth to prove Judy that he deserves her.

The title of the story ‘Winter Dreams’ shows the main idea of the Fitzgerald’s work. Winter in the title reflects the time that the author was willing to describe. He compares the time he lived with a winter as Fitzgerald thought that people live in the materialized world, where the main goal is to achieve ‘American Dream,’ become a part of elite, and as a result people would forget about the real life values that cannot bring fake happiness. During the whole Dexter’s life, he is trying to become a part of ‘elite.’ All his manners, cloths and etiquette refer to the attributes of a rich man from the upper class, and his love is dedicated to what was just a fantasy of his youth. The main hero’s love to Judy reflects the real attitude towards his life. He falls in love with her as she is beautiful, well-dressed and rich, however, he does not see her empty inside. The love to her is just a fantasy that the main hero creates, and consequently, he lives in these fake dreams of his own, and dedicates his life to things that do not even exist, but he does not see it.

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Not only in love, but in every aspect Fitzgerald shows how fake and not realistic life the main hero has. Dexter sees the life of rich upper-class people as rosy and extremely positive well-being where all people are good mannered and well-dressed, as well as surrounded by beautiful things and wealth. However, he does not see the real inside of this world, where people can be cruel and indifferent, materialized and empty. The author describes the story with the help of different symbols and makes the reader see the main message behind the lines. Such symbols as boats and golf fields reflect the symbols of wealth. Winter, as it was mentioned above, symbolizes the author’s attitude towards the time he lived, as he refers to this time as cold and unhappy days.

When Judy breaks Dexter’s heart, he decides to participate in the World War I as he is willing to escape the pain he feels because of his dramatic life. After the war, he becomes an extremely successful businessman and achieves everything he wants. The pursuit of success is the main goal of Dexter and he is proud to be a self-sufficient person. However, he understands that all his achievements do not bring him happiness.

In the end of the story, the main hero understands how wrong he was. He meets Judy, whose beauty fades, and he understands that he does not love her anymore, and that all this time he lived in the fantasy world created by him. The author writes “The dream was gone. Something had been taken from him” (Fitzgerald). In these words it is possible to see how disappointed the main hero is, as all his life is dedicated to the creating fake fantasies. In addition, this disappointment is possible to see in the following words of the main hero “Long ago,” he said, “long ago, there was something in me, but now that thing is gone. Now that thing is gone, that thing is gone. I cannot cry. I cannot care. That thing will come back no more” (Fitzgerald).


In conclusion, “Winter Dreams” by F. S. Fitzgerald became one of the most popular and significant works of the author that still cause a powerful influence on the modern literature. It is certainly the case where the author describes a tragedy of the society, where in pursuit of wealth, social status, and this well-known ‘American Dream,’ people forget about the real values which do not bring fake happiness. The main hero dedicates his life to achieve success and, consequently, understands that he lives in fantasies, whereas all his actions and achievements cannot bring him real happiness.


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