Winter Dreams Essay
When I was thinking of how to change the end of the short story under consideration, several ideas popped up in my mind. In all of the alternative endings that I thought of, Judy Jones is the one who is taught a good lesson about her attitude to other people, men, in particular, their feelings and to life as a whole. One of the variants is as follows.
The evening when Irene stays home because of her terrible headache, Dexter goes to the club where he meets July. He agrees to talk to her and takes her home. He does cheat on Irene that night but confesses to her and eventually, she forgives him, unlike July who makes a scene because Dexter does not want to leave his future wife. It takes some time for Dexter and Irene to work on their relationship but they do succeed. Judy meets Dexter to say that he has made a huge mistake and that in several years he will understand it. After their conversation, she leaves the town. With some time passing, Dexter becomes even more successful in business and personal life; he decides to move to New York with his family. He and his wife are invited to a party, and there Dexter meets Judy. She is married now to a rich man who treats her as his toy and cheats around; she is still pretty but not the way she used to be as now she abuses alcohol. There is a huge contrast between Dexter and Irene and Judy and her husband’s family life, and now it is Judy who regrets, not Dexter.
I would make this change because I like Dexter a lot, and it seems to me that he is a good guy and deserves more than he has in the actual short story. However, the original variant is more realistic because it shows a true life and that very often people do not appreciate what they have. The variant I suggest would change the story in a way that Dexter would appear to be wiser and follow common sense rather than his emotions.
There are only two main characters to choose which of them I identify the most. It is definitely not Judy. As for me, she is not serious at all, and she has no aim in her life. In fact, she seems to be immature, even infantile, and very spoilt. Therefore, I choose Dexter. I cannot say I have such “winter dreams” as he does, meaning I am not as focused on making a lot of money and improving my social status or play golf with the richest people in the city. At the same time, he is ambitious and knows what he wants, and these are the values I like a lot about him and try to cultivate. It is the fact that the author gives quite a detailed description of Dexter’s thoughts and feelings that lets me see and understand what kind of person this character actually is, and, consequently, due to this, I can find connections with Dexter.
First of all, I like the author’s realistic view of life. In the short story under analysis, he shows that people tend to idealize others and their life especially when they are in love. Fitzgerald reveals the truth and shows that very often people do not see or even do not want to see what is really happening to them. Also, he is ironic in the way he describes the discrepancy between what people say and what they actually think and do: “She said, “Maybe someday,” she said, “kiss me,” she said, “I’d like to marry you,” she said, “I love you,” – she said – nothing” (Fitzgerald). For me as a reader, it is a very important characteristic feature of the author’s style because due to this one can learn something about life and, perhaps, even make fewer mistakes.
If I were judging a short story contest, I would definitely give The Most Ironic award to this particular short story. I believe this would be the best award for Winter Dreams as irony lies in its basis and it is irony that helps reveal that very often dreams are only dreams and nothing more and they’d better stay dreams only, not become reality. Apart from the above-mentioned example, one more instance of irony in the text is that in the end it is Judy who stays at home with children and is cheated on and loses her beauty as her former weapon of choice, and it is her husband who enjoys life and does what he wants to do.
Reference Fitzgerald, F. S. (1998). Winter dreams. Retrieved from https://public.wsu.edu/~campbelld/engl494/winterdreams.pdf