What effect does the point of view have on the way we read "Winter Dreams"?The author allows the reader into the thoughts of Dexter, but never the thoughts of Judy.

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a very clever question as you have recognised the way that the point of view is intrinsically related to the theme of the short story. The point of view of course is a very important decision that every author has to make, and it is clear that Fitzgerald adopts a third person omniscient point of view in this story. He does rarely give us access to Judy's character, as he does in the following example:

She was not a girl who could be "won" in the kinetic sense--she was proof against cleverness, she was proof against charm; if any of these assailed her too strongly she would immediately resolve the affair to a physical basis, and under the magic of her physical splendour the strong as well as the brilliant played her game and not their own. She was entertained only by the gratification of her desires and by the direct exercise of her own charm. Perhaps from so much youthful love, so many youthful lovers, she had come, in self-defence, to nourish herself wholly from within.

Whilst this does give us some access to Judy's character, thoughts and motivations, the fact that it is written from the third person omniscient point of view emphasises the inaccessibility of Judy. Judy is of course symbolic of Dexter's "winter dreams," and therefore this careful decision of point of view hints rather strongly that dreams by their very nature remain distant, aloof, tantalising but never by their very nature come true.

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Winter Dreams

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