American Dream-Winter Dreams and the Great Gatsby


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Winter Dreams and the Great Gatsby

The short story of the Great Gatsby and the winter dreams were written around the same time (1920’s) and the similarities between the novel and the short story were done for a purpose. The main characters of both stories are men, Dexter and Gatsby who have the desire to achieve the American dream but not necessarily for their own benefit but entice back the women that they idealize.

The winter dreams just as the Great Gatsby have been considered as one of the diatribes that were against the American society of the Old Money class. Both works have presented frustrations of Fitzgerald’s with his own life and how they have attempted to achieve the American dream. Dexter is observed looking at the wealth golfers and he believes that if he works harder, one day he will be like them which illustrates fictions in this work. Dexter is able to work hard and gets wealthy but he then realizes that his dreams became corrupted (Fitzgerald, 61). This illustrates the non-fiction of the story due to actual happenings of his dream. The disillusionment that has been featured in the short story has revolved around the belief that happiness can be achieved through and gain without some moral type of foundation. This has illustrated the interpretive works of the short story. They have also utilized the Escapist works whereby he is seen envisioning scenes where he is driving a luxurious car and the wealth surrounding him to listen to him as he speaks.

Historical Context

The Great Gatsby is a standard novel about class struggle, love and morality in the 1920’s. Although the themes in the novel have been considered universal, the historical context has revealed that Fitzgerald had written the novel at the great time of transformation in the U.S society. It was published during the Jazz age that had come out of the World war 1, one of the most violent and bloodiest episodes in the nation’s history. The novel has been set at the time when organized crime had become means of insurgence against prohibition.

Winter dreams analyzes the frustrations and motivations of two young people that are growing old but also examines historical periods of the off-gain, on-aging relationship between Judy and Dexter. This accomplishment in winter extents decades of the twentieth century from the early 1920’s. This period was known as the Jazz age during the First world war. This was the period that people had less concern about concern about their future neither their past.  This period saw many young people into embracement of the moment as the world war 1 emerged and America entered into an economic boom that was unprecedent.

Elements of Fiction

The plot of the novel Great Gatsby is viewed as a sum of major actions that have been used to gear forward the story. Gatsby was born in a poor family and then comes across Daisy who is very rich before shipping out during world war1 (Fitzgerald, 52). After Daisy gets married, Gatsby works hard in order to amass wealth enough to lure back daisy. The story features two main categories of characters; minor and major characters. The setting of the novel in a combination of simple setting of when and where which have played a big role as elements in the Great Gatsby.

Winter Dreams is a great short story that has been successful in the implementation of a protagonist, meaningful, motivation, attention grabbing lead and descriptive dialogue (Fitzgerald, 42). The protagonist is a boy that comes from Minnesota. The story starts where the protagonist quits his rewarding caddying work when he was told that he was to caddy for a rich girl. In the point of view the story has two conflicts which were the poor external conflicts and the societal rich which Gatsby experienced.


Winter dreams have signified more than its basic title. The title has been used a symbol and has added depth to the story and has also displayed the theme of wealthy and unhappy life. The life of Dexter changes and is signified by the word winter. This has also signified the death of his emotions and feelings that have been iced up due to the heartbreak. The first introduction of the dream has been described as the need to associate with glittering things and people. The glittering in this story includes the success and money that Dexter yearns for. He does not only want to be associated with them but also wanted to have greater achievements on his own.

 Judy then pictures out beauty, passion, loveliness and energy with true love and dream.  Imagery has been viewed in the short story and has produced mental pictures in one’s mind.  The images have been used to keep maintain his love for Judy Jones and the existence of his youthful winter dreams as the only at that the past can be fixed through the images of the time and having the real world in imagination.

Symbols have played a great role in the novel Great Gatsby. Characters have also been used as symbols. For instance, Daisy has been used as a symbol of moral corruption. The valley of Ashes which is a billboard has been used to show a strong link between God and the eyes that are looking out of no face. This shows the look of God upon the American society and looking at the moral wasteland which has been symbolically named as the valley of ashes.  The green light has greater importance as s symbol in the novel.

This light is a symbol of the Gatsby’s American dream which is to change the past and be able to own back Daisy’s love.  The green light therefore, is a symbol of something to reach for. However, choosing the artificial light is also a symbol that the dreams of Fitzgerald were unrealistic and artificial. The season setting in the novel can also be used to symbolize the tension that has was built between Gatsby and Tom in the hotel room at the time Gatsby is telling Daisy to talk to tom and tell him that she never loved him.

Common Subject

Great Gatsby and winter Dream share a common theme which is to chase their American dream (Fitzgerald, 46)In both stories this has been talked about much and is something that each one of them is working hard for to achieve. Gatsby wants to be with Daisy no matter the cost while Dexter’s’ believe is to win Judy though that is not the real Judy. Gatsby is then forced to change his entire identity and comes up with ways to get money and making up stories of his past while Dexter plans a successful life where he attends a great University and then makes his prosperity as a successful entrepreneur.

 Another reoccurring theme in the two stories is the fight by the two poor men to gain love with the ignorant nobles. In both stories the young men fall in love with beautiful girls who are ignorant and but rich.  Both of them try to fake their wealth in order to entice the girls and impress them in order to lure the girls, a natural characteristic that is present in all humankind. They both love the women and have much attention with their American dreams not necessarily for them but to entice the beautiful girls.

Marxist Theory

This has pointed out that the belief in the American dream is associated with culture and American history. The American dream ideology means that anyone who has the determination of working hard has the opportunity to grow rich because the American land is of equal opportunity. This has been revealed by the hard work of both protagonists. The American dream in both stories reveals that the American dreams leads to believing that people can significantly improve their status.

Judy Vs. Daisy

Judy was hopping and playing around men trying to get someone who could provide her needs. As they lived with Dexter she realized that Dexter did not have as much money as she really wanted and so she left heart-broken. Daisy was that golden girl who was rich, that Gatsby had fallen in love with. She was confused about who she really loved and wanted. When she was left by Gatsby for the war she fell in love with another man and was married by that man which left Gatsby a heartbroken man like his fellow protagonist Dexter.


Winter dreams and Great Gatsby are social-historical critics of American dreams that were set in 1920’s at the Jazz age. They have embraced the materialistic and liberal culture and brought new attitudes toward personal relations and morality.  The elements of historical facts and fictions about U.S in the 1920’s. Characters have portrayed the shallowness of the American society. This has made the works a document of its time and which has been different from the time it is read due to cultural change.

Work’s cited

Fitzgerald, F. Scott, and James LW West III. Fitzgerald: All The Sad Young Men. Vol. 8. Cambridge University Press, 2007: 43-65

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