What motivates Dexter's drive for success?

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

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There is a spirit of competition in Dexter that wishes for only the best.  This is the attitude that he takes at golf and in business.  Fitzgerald shows this spirit of competition is reflection of a desire for wealth, status, and privilege:

He wanted not association with glittering things and glittering people--he wanted the glittering things themselves. Often he reached out for the best without knowing why he wanted it--and sometimes he ran up against the mysterious denials and prohibitions in which life indulges. 

Dexter's drive for success comes from this obsessive drive with "the glittering things themselves."  Dexter craved for success and all the trappings that come along with it.  For Dexter, his desire for success is rooted in this possession of the elements that reflect success.  The conscious and subconscious drive to "reach out for the best" is critical to Dexter's drive for success.  Dexter sees success as something that is both internal and external.  The "glittering things" that Dexter covets helps to fuel his drive.  It is this desire that feeds his desire for Judy Jones, someone he considers to embody the very best in all aspects of being.  For this reason, Dexter continually pursues Judy, as she is that very "glittering thing" that he believes is a reflection of his success.  Dexter's drive to succeed is reflected by the need and desire to embody and possess the "glittering things" that are so important to him.

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