In "Winter Dreams," what does Fitzgerald mean by “stuff” in line 140? Explain what the reader learns from the direct address and flash forward in these lines that could not have been inferred from the narrative to this point.

"Stuff" in line 140 of "Winter Dreams" refers to the essence of Dexter's dreams, which are always about wealth. It also means he is fixated on "stuff" in the sense of material goods. The direct address and flash forward at the beginning of part 2 inform us of how seriously Dexter longs for and pursues wealth. He wants to be rich not for snobbish reasons but because he longs for the "glittering things themselves."

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In the first line of part 2, the narrator says the following:

Now, of course, the quality and the seasonability of these winter dreams varied, but the stuff of them remained.

Stuff in this context means essence or unchangeable quality. Dexter's winter dreams might vary, but they are always about...

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In the first line of part 2, the narrator says the following:

Now, of course, the quality and the seasonability of these winter dreams varied, but the stuff of them remained.

Stuff in this context means essence or unchangeable quality. Dexter's winter dreams might vary, but they are always about him as wealthy. Stuff, however, in this context is also a double entendre: it has a double meaning. The essence of the dreams is the "stuff," the things that money can buy.

Up until this point, we know that Dexter is a golf caddy at the local country club. We know, too, that he is impressed by the wealth he sees there and has fantasies (winter dreams) when he is not working about being a wealthy golf club patron. We also know that his family is prosperous enough that he does not absolutely have to work at the golf course, but they are not wealthy either. He is simply middle-class. We also see that he quits rather than be demeaned and ordered around by a wealthy girl.

What the story to this point has not told us is how seriously Dexter longs for the stuff that wealth can bring and how seriously he will pursue wealth. His winter dreams are not simply an adolescent's idle fantasies: they express his goals in life. He is not interested, we are told, in the snobbish aspects of wealth, such as being associated with rich people, which is another aspect of his character we could not have inferred from part 1. What he wants are the "glittering things themselves."

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