Why is Judy Jones' beauty important to her character in "Winter Dreams"?
She was such a ugly child?
She uses it to get what she wants?
It gives a contrast to her humbbleness?
It allows her to move into a entire social circle?
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Naturally, the text and its characterization will be your best guide here. Rather than directly answering it, I will try to give some guide so that in going back to the text, the answer will be more evident. It seems to me that Judy's beauty is reflective of so much of the country club society in which she is immersed. Beauty and panache seem to be the ingredients that define her movement in this social group. Her beauty is used as a tool to attract men and this is how she obtains the men she wants. I think that her use of beauty is only to fulfill her desires with men, and not in a malicious way. In Judy's mind, she wants men and that acceptance is essential to her. Certainly, it is reasonable to presume that she won't move in this high level social circuit if she were not beautiful. This is probably where she is different from Irene, who is more homely and not as socially driven. I think Judy says a line that connects her ability to get what she wants to her beauty. It should be noted that she also asks why she is still searching for happiness. I think the Fitzgerald is playing with this image of illusion masquerading as social acceptance and beauty; the core of nothingness that lies at the heart of such social endeavors cannot be averted forever. In the ending, when Dexter weeps, he weeps for his illusion being destroyed. It stands to reason that he envisions Judy as not being pretty, and thus, not being able to get what she wants and socially maligned.
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