At the end of the story, what is a feeling that Fitzgerald wants to convey to the reader?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that one of the most important feelings that Fitzgerald wants to create within the reader is the idea of reflection.  The reader is left at the end of the short story with this enormity of reflection.  Seeing Dexter weep for his "winter dreams" creates a sense of the ambiguous within the reader.  There is little that is absolute and clear in the ending of the story, and this is precisely the effect that Fitzgerald.  He wants the reader to experience a condition where little is clear.  Little is evident as one sees Dexter realize the hollowness revealed of his pursuit and his own dreams, and yet weeping for this illusion to return.  Fitzgerald wishes for the reader to understand the complexity of this condition and, perhaps, forge connection to their own being.  In this, there is a sense of reflection that is stirred within the reader in seeing the epitome of style, class, and social power of Judy Jones reduced to nothing more than faded dreams.  The feeling conveyed to the reader is not something of vengeance or even a sense that she "deserved" it, but rather that there is an ending to all narratives.  In recognizing this, there is feeling created within the reader where little in way of absolutes is present and more within the realm of ambiguity and reflection are evident.

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