In "Winter Dreams," what atmosphere does the descriptive language used in part 2 create?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The descriptive language of Part II of "Winter Dreams" generates a much desired glittering and glamorous atmosphere that seems to promise Dexter happiness.

One day after having become successful as a businessman, Dexter Green becomes dictated by his "winter dreams." He enrolls in a famous university in the East rather than attend the state university where his father would pay his tuition. In the East, he associates with the "glittering people" who are like Judy Jones, but he is confronted with "denials." After graduating from college, Dexter uses his ingenuity and becomes a successful businessman, and before he is twenty-seven, he owns a chain of laundries that specialize in the care of woolen golf clothing. One day Dexter plays golf with Mr. Hedrick, and he again sees Judy Jones, who now has become a beautiful young woman.

Later, in the moonlit evening, Dexter swims out to a raft over which "the moon held a finger to her lips, and the lake became a clear pool." Dexter listens to a tune that evokes "a sort of ecstasy" in him. He feels that everything around him radiates "a brightness and a glamor he might never know." When a boat bumps the raft, his senses are sharpened as he hears the water drown out the "tinkle of the piano" in the golf club. Dexter sees a figure at the wheel, a figure who calls out to him, asking if he is one of the men whose game she interrupted that afternoon. The young woman introduces herself as Judy Jones and asks him to drive her boat so that she can ride on a surfboard behind it. This "casual whim" of Judy's gives "a new direction to his life" a second time. For Dexter Green now wants the "glittering things" associated with his romantic perception of Judy.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is of course in Part II that Dexter Fletcher meets Judy Jones once again, but this time she has flourished into an incredibly attractive and somewhat precocious young woman. What is interesting is that this reunion is accompanied by some incredibly vivid and beautiful description of nature. Consider the following example that comes straight after Dexter sees Judy Jones again:

Later in teh afternoon the sun went down with a riotous swirl of gold and varying blues and scarlets, and left the dry, rustling night of Western summer. Dexter watched from the veranda of the Golf Club, watched the even overlap of the waters in the little wind, silver molasses under the harvest moon. Then the moon held a finger to her lips and the lake became a clear pool, pale and quiet.

What is interesting about such descriptions is the way that they clearly point towards the beauty and depth of Dexter's feelngs. Dexter is presented as being a man who is very strongly attuned to the beauty of nature, which is notably personified as a woman, in the same way that Dexter is obviously attuned to the beauty of Judy Jones.

The atmosphere that is created by such language is therefore one of deep emotional romance as we see an expression of Dexter's feelings through the way that he interacts with the beauty of nature before him. This of course parallels the way that he responds to the beauty of Judy Jones.