What does Judy represent for Dexter in "Winter Dreams"? Does Dexter really love her?
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Judy represents the uninhibited drama of youth. She is the epitome of carefree, selfish indulgence, and as a result Dexter is more in love with the image of Judy than her real self.
Judy raises a passion within him, which forces him to break off his engagement for a wild liaison when they meet again as adults. They were never really meant for each other, and as he leaves for further adventure in the army, she marries a man who is cruel to her, and she ages badly as a result.. When he learns of Judy’s poor fortunes, his words suggest that he mourns more for the feelings which accompanied her rather than Judy herself:
I cannot cry. I cannot care. That thing will come back no more.
The “thing” is more likely to be youthful passion than a derogatory reference to Judy herself.
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