Compare Winter Dreams And The Great Gatsby

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The characters Fitzgerald created in both The Great Gatsby and “Winter Dreams” reveal the age in which he lived in and did very well to define the time period. In this way that Fitzgerald is regarded as a historian in the era. After World War I, American society went through a period of intense change. Traditional principles in God, country, and civilization were traumatized as Americans confronted the anguish of a war of that degree. During the 1920s, many Americans acknowledged that an old order had been substituted by a new, open society, one that embraced new fashions of clothing, behavior, and even the arts. Fitzgerald coined the name ‘‘Jazz Age’’ to describe this decade, which along with the ‘‘Roaring Twenties’’ came to express the Cultural Revolution that was then taking place at the time. The qualities of these compelling characters was their pursuit of pleasure, particularly associated with the amassing of wealth, as a principal goal, upsetting traditional ideas of hard work, social conformity, and respectability. Dexter Greene was desperate to accumulate wealth in hopes that it would partner him with the social elite. Gatsby also pursued wealth in an attempt to raise his own status. Fitzgerald wrote “Winter Dreams” while he was still working on The Great Gatsby and this could be why the two works share numerous thematic and technical components. Both works center on a young man from a decent background who attempts to be a part of the elite world occupied by the women they love and dream about. For this reason, both Jay Gatsby and Dexter Greene are the two most compelling Fitzgerald characters. At the beginning of “Winter Dreams,” Dexter Greene, a fourteen year old boy, is a caddie at Sherry Island Golf Club,... ... middle of paper ... ...vity to rise. Today, the use and abuse of alcohol continues to grow in the United States. The qualities that make these two characters compelling is the fact that they are doomed to fail. Their obsession with the past causes them to neglect the present, and ultimately pursue goals that are unattainable. Gatsby does not want Daisy to just love him again. He needs her to erase all affections she had for Tom, which Daisy is unable to do. Gatsby “asks to much” because he needs Daisy to be the same as she was when they first met. Dexter and Gatsby want return to a time when they were of lower class and wealth to rekindle a romance with a love interest who moved on. It is this hopeless romanticism that makes their characters compelling and allows for emotional investment. Perkins, Wendy. "Critical Essay on 'Winter Dreams'." Short Stories for Students. Ed. Carol
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