The Theme Of Happiness In F. Scott Fitzgerald's Winter Dreams

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Winter Dreams by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a short story that plays upon the notion of the American dream. Its two main characters, Dexter Green and Judy Jones, lead lives dominated by many ambitions all of which they believe will lead to them having a truly happy lives. However, throughout the story it becomes increasingly clear that though they is accomplishing their goals happiness does not seem to follow. But why? Nietzsche once said, “In the end one loves one’s desire, not the thing desired.” It is in my opinion that both Dexter Green and Judy Jones become excellent illustrations of this as they were consumed by something, her by ideals and him by ambition, that ultimately it robbed them of true joy.

Throughout his life, Dexter Green had the belief that his happiness was something he could obtain by becoming wealthy. His motivation for these thoughts first started through the various encounters he had with the wealthy while caddying for upper-class gentlemen in his youth. While Dexter himself did come from a middle class background, his father owned a grocery store, his
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This is first apparent in Judy. As she grew into a young adult, she began to equate her beauty and family wealth with happiness. This became the foundation of her self-construct. In fact, she actually once exclaims that she does not know why she can’t be happy since she’s more beautiful than anyone else. Eventually she could only find enjoyment by charming others. For example, she only wanted to marry Dexter after his engagement to another woman. Her desire for him was not actually a desire for him as a person at all, she just needed to be gratified by having him. This ultimately led to her getting into an unhappy marriage and by then her beauty had begun to wane. Bereft of this trait which she built her life on, Judy became figuratively impoverished, which mirrored the barrenness of Dexter’s own
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