Comparison of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby and “Winter Dreams”

Comparison of the American Dream in The Great Gatsby and “Winter Dreams”

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The short story of “Winter Dreams” was written around the same time that Fitzgerald was developing ideas for a story to turn into a novel. While The Great Gatsby wasn’t published until 1925, “Winter Dreams” débuted in 1922 and the similarities between the novel and short story were done on purpose. “Winter Dreams” became a short draft which Fitzgerald paralleled The Great Gatsby after, but also differentiated the two in specific ways (“Winter Dreams” 217). The main characters are both men, Jay Gatsby and Dexter Green, who desire for the American dream, not necessarily for themselves, but in order to lure back the women they idealize. In The Great Gatsby and “Winter Dreams” F. Scott Fitzgerald’s constant theme is shown through the characters of Jay Gatsby and Dexter Green, both similar in the way they pursue the American dream of wealth and social status in order to try and win back the women they love, but also different in specific ways.
The similarities between Jay and Dexter are quite apparent when reading each story. They both come from the Midwest and although Dexter’s family has some money, both are similar in the fact that they did not start out as wealthy, upper class men from rich families. Their hard work and determination to make their own wealth and acquire the luxuries and social status that come with it are completely by their own doing. Both men achieve their goals of the American dream at a relatively young age and are able to be a part of the high society they once observed from a distance. Their desire to amass wealth and the perks associated with it come with an ulterior motive, to win back the girls they desire that will only be with them if they have the wealth and status to bring to the table.
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...he end of The Great Gatsby and “Winter Dreams”, it is easy to make a distinction between the two stories. Also the obvious differences between Gatsby and Green are revealed as each story develops. Fitzgerald’s theme of the American dream switches from short story to novel, but the similarities are still apparent. In conclusion, both men go in completely different ways, while Gatsby is killed, Green accepts his destiny and although upset we can infer he goes on with his life. They both lose out on the loves of their life, but the differences in their endings are completely and utterly separate.






















Works Cited
Fitzgerald, F S. The Great Gatsby. New York: Scribner Paperback Fiction, 1995. Print.
Fitzgerald, F S, and Matthew J. Bruccoli. The Short Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald: A New
Collection. New York: Scribner, 1989. Print.

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