Can you explain Dexter's winter dreams in "Winter Dreams"?

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Dexter's dreams in "Winter Dreams " are dreams of having a better life and rising above the station that he was born into. He dreams of being a golf champion, stepping from an expensive automobile and into the fancy club, of being respected and admired. They're the dreams of...

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Dexter's dreams in "Winter Dreams" are dreams of having a better life and rising above the station that he was born into. He dreams of being a golf champion, stepping from an expensive automobile and into the fancy club, of being respected and admired. They're the dreams of youth but also what push him forward to make money and create a life for himself.

Dexter grew up in an area where he and his family—along with others in their social class—catered to the wealthy who live nearby. This meant that he came close to wealth but didn't have it himself. His winter dreams focus on the kind of wealth he wants to achieve and the symbols of the social status he desires. The dreams and his desire for the "glittering things" drive Dexter so that he attends a prestigious college and makes a lot of money.

At the end of the story, he finds out that Judy Jones, the wealthy object of his affection for a long time, has married someone else, and that her life isn't completely happy, and her looks have dulled. He feels a panic because a dream he has is gone forever; he feels that it's like something was taken away from him.

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Dexter's winter dreams revolve around the idea of transcending the socioeconomic class of his parents. They are middle class, the owners of the "second best" grocery store in the area. The top grocery store is preferred by the denizens of Sherry Island, inhabited by the class of people that Dexter caddies for and wants to eventually eclipse in the acquisition of wealth and access. He dreams of beating at golf the men for whom he caddies. He dreams of stepping nonchalantly from "a Pierce-Arrow automobile." He dreams of giving "an exhibition of fancy diving from the spring-board of the club raft" and earning the admiration of Mr. Mortimer Jones, a prominent club member. In short, Dexter wants not just to join the ranks of the men of consequence he has toiled under in his teen years, he wants to become superior to them.

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Dexter's dream is to gain the love of wealthy Judy Jones and the lifestyle that goes with it. She is part of the American elite and Dexter wants to live this kind of life. At the beginning of the story, he is extremely happy and motivated but by the end of the story, he is forced to admit that his dreams were just an illusion. Thus, the idea of "winter", which can be beautiful, with freshly fallen white snow and glistening trees, often turns to slippery frost and the snow is darkened by people tramping on and dirt mixing with it. So it is with Dexter. His "winter dreams", once fresh and new, crumble and are tramped upon by the hollowness in Judy and the destructive nature of the so-called American dream.

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