How can I analyze Dexter Green in Winter Dreams? Is he a dynamic or static character?

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beateach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In “Winter Dreams” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dexter Green is a static character. As a static character, he remains steadfast in his pursuit of material wealth and Judith Jones.  

Although he ages from a teenager to an adult in the story, he does not waiver in his core persona. As a teen he dreams of accumulating wealth so he can enjoy the prestige of belonging to the golf club on Sherry Island, where he caddied in his youth. He wanted to prove to the club members he deserved to be one of them.

October filled him with hope which November raised to a sort of ecstatic triumph, and in this mood the fleeting brilliant impressions of the summer at Sherry Island were ready grist to his mill. He became a golf champion and defeated Mr. T. A. Hedrick in a marvellous match played a hundred times over the fairways of his imagination, a match each detail of which he changed about untiringly--sometimes he won with almost laughable ease, sometimes he came up magnificently from behind.

The day he witnessed the antics of the young Judith Jones at the club, he set his sights on making these dreams a reality. From that day forward he strove to accomplish his goals by going to a prestigious college, establishing a successful dry cleaning business, and surrounding himself with the people he wanted to emulate.

He made money. It was rather amazing. After college he went to the city from which Black Bear Lake draws its wealthy patrons.

It only took Dexter a few years to make a name for himself. The men of the club wanted him to join them, and he did. This was the same day he became reacquainted with Judith Jones, who had become a beautiful young woman, and his quest to be with her began in earnest.

When he was twenty-three Mr. Hart--one of the gray-haired men who like to say "Now there's a boy"--gave him a guest card to the Sherry Island Golf Club for a week-end. So he signed his name one day on the register, and that afternoon played golf in a foursome with Mr. Hart and Mr. Sandwood and Mr. T. A. Hedrick.

Throughout his young adult life, he pursued a relationship with the fickle Judith Jones, who drifted in and out of his life. Judith appeared at inopportune times, and Dexter even gave up the chance to marry a solid, wealthy young woman to have a fling with Judith.

But F. Scott Fitzgerald speaks to the reader before the story concludes.

THIS STORY is not his biography, remember, although things creep into it which have nothing to do with those dreams he had when he was young. We are almost done with them and with him now.

The war intervened and years later, Dexter, a successful businessman who no longer lived in the mid-west, held his dreams intact. It is not until an acquaintance brings him news of the demise of Judith’s beauty due to a difficult marriage that the reader witnesses the death of Dexter’s dreams.

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Winter Dreams

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