Summary (Masterplots II: Short Story Series, Revised Edition)
F. Scott Fitzgerald divides “Winter Dreams” into six episodes. In the first, fourteen-year-old Dexter Green, whose father owns the “second best” grocery store in Black Bear Lake, Minnesota, has been earning thirty dollars a month pocket money caddying at the Sherry Island Golf Club. He is responsible and honest, touted by at least one wealthy patron as the “best caddy in the club.” His decision to quit his job comes suddenly—proclaimed, to incredulous protests, to be the result of his having got “too old.” Such public excuse masks the real and private reason: Dexter has just been smitten head-over-heels by the willful, artificial, and radiant eleven-year-old Judy Jones, who, with her nurse, shows up at the club carrying five new golf clubs in a white canvas bag and demanding a caddy. Dexter watches her engage in a sudden and passionate altercation with the nurse, which piques his interest and works to align him with Judy. He not only sympathizes with her but also senses that an equally sudden and violent act on his part (his resignation) can be the only possible response to the “strong emotional shock” of his infatuation.
In the second episode, which takes place nine years later, Dexter has become a successful entrepreneur in the business world. His laundries cater to moneyed patrons by specializing in fine woolen golf stockings and women’s lingerie. Playing golf one afternoon with men for whom he once caddied, Dexter contemplates...
(The entire section is 994 words.)
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At the beginning of the story, fourteen-year-old Dexter Green is a caddy at Sherry Island Golf Club. He works there only for pocket money, since his father owns ‘‘the second best grocery-store in Black Bear.’’ In the winter, Dexter frequently skis over the snow-covered fairways, a landscape that fills him with melancholy. During his days there, he frequently daydreams about becoming a golf champion and defeating the wealthy members of the club. One morning he abruptly quits when Judy Jones, a beautiful, eleven-year-old girl comes to play golf and treats him as an inferior.
Several years later he decides against attending the state university his father would have paid for and instead goes to a prestigious school in the East, although he has trouble affording it. The narrator makes it clear that he was more concerned with obtaining wealth than just associating with the wealthy.
After he graduates from college, he borrows a sum of money, and that and his confidence buy him a partnership in a laundry. He works hard at the business, catering to wealthy customers as he learns how to properly clean fine clothes. As a result, by the time he is twenty-seven, he is a successful businessman who owns an entire chain of laundries.
One day, when he is twenty-three, one of the men he had caddied for invites him to play at the Sherry Island Golf Club. As he is playing, Judy...
(The entire section is 690 words.)