Is Dexter Green from "Winter Dreams" a dynamic or static character?

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Dexter is a dynamic character, meaning he changes in a significant way by the time the story ends.

Most main characters in a story are dynamic, because most stories involve meeting challenges, reacting to them, and being changed by them in some important way. In other words, the main character or protagonist in a story is not the same person as he or she was when the story began. Somehow, that person thinks differently, sees the world differently, or has developed a significantly different personality.

If a character is the opposite of dynamic--static--that means he or she experiences no significant changes; that character basically stays the same from the beginning to the end of the story. Minor characters are usually static: the ones who aren't that important to the story. Sometimes, a main character is static in a story because he misses out on a chance to change.

Getting back to Dexter in "Winter Dreams," let's see what makes him a dynamic character by examining his character traits near the beginning of the story versus toward the end.

How he is near the beginning of the story:

As a young teenager working as a caddy at the golf course, Dexter is hardworking and competent: he never loses a ball, and his boss calls him "the best caddy in the club." Although the narrator doesn't explicitly say so, we believe Dexter has been doing this job for quite a while, so we assume he's also reliable. At the same time, he's deeply affected by the changing of the seasons and is often overcome by melancholy. We can tell how deeply emotional he is, too, because he reacts so impetuously to meeting Judy for the first time, suddenly throwing away his caddy job:

"But he had received a strong emotional shock, and his perturbation required a violent and immediate outlet."

And, notably, Dexter describes himself as a boy as "proud" and "desirous." The narrator adds that Dexter operated under the illusion that Judy was desirable, so we also know that Dexter was easily enchanted, or full of illusions.

As the story goes on, Dexter grows up, becomes successful in business, plays golf, and suffers endlessly from his on-again, off-again relationship with Judy. Because he wants to possess beautiful things, he keeps on chasing after the beautiful Judy no matter how many times she hurts him.

Now let's take a look at how he is at the end of the story, as a result of all those life experiences:

Is Dexter still hardworking, competent, and reliable? Yes. He's one of the richest young men in the country, it seems, and he's worked his way into a higher social class. So, that aspect of his personality hasn't changed.

Is he still melancholy and impetuous, given to fits of sadness and sudden emotional displays? Yes. Look at that scene toward the end with Devlin, when Dexter loses his cool when he hears what happened to Judy.

Is Dexter still enchanted? Is he still blinded by illusions? No. He has lost his illusions; he understands the reality now that Judy is not some perfect, ever-gorgeous being. She's become a frumpy housewife and isn't even pretty anymore. Dexter realizes this, and then he realizes that he's become disillusioned, finally. That's how Dexter changes. Here's how he acknowledges and laments that major change:

"Long ago," he said, "long ago, there was something in me, but now that thing is gone. Now that thing is gone, that thing is gone. I cannot cry. I cannot care. That thing will come back no more."

To sum it up, although Dexter retains many of his basic personality traits, his life experiences cause him to build up and then shatter his own illusions. His way of looking at the world changes from enchanted (and unrealistic) to realistic. That's how he changes, and that's why he's a dynamic character.

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How can I analyze Dexter Green in Winter Dreams? Is he a dynamic or static character?

In “Winter Dreams” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dexter Green is a static character. As a static character, he remains steadfast in his pursuit of material wealth and Judith Jones.  

Although he ages from a teenager to an adult in the story, he does not waiver in his core persona. As a teen he dreams of accumulating wealth so he can enjoy the prestige of belonging to the golf club on Sherry Island, where he caddied in his youth. He wanted to prove to the club members he deserved to be one of them.

October filled him with hope which November raised to a sort of ecstatic triumph, and in this mood the fleeting brilliant impressions of the summer at Sherry Island were ready grist to his mill. He became a golf champion and defeated Mr. T. A. Hedrick in a marvellous match played a hundred times over the fairways of his imagination, a match each detail of which he changed about untiringly--sometimes he won with almost laughable ease, sometimes he came up magnificently from behind.

The day he witnessed the antics of the young Judith Jones at the club, he set his sights on making these dreams a reality. From that day forward he strove to accomplish his goals by going to a prestigious college, establishing a successful dry cleaning business, and surrounding himself with the people he wanted to emulate.

He made money. It was rather amazing. After college he went to the city from which Black Bear Lake draws its wealthy patrons.

It only took Dexter a few years to make a name for himself. The men of the club wanted him to join them, and he did. This was the same day he became reacquainted with Judith Jones, who had become a beautiful young woman, and his quest to be with her began in earnest.

When he was twenty-three Mr. Hart--one of the gray-haired men who like to say "Now there's a boy"--gave him a guest card to the Sherry Island Golf Club for a week-end. So he signed his name one day on the register, and that afternoon played golf in a foursome with Mr. Hart and Mr. Sandwood and Mr. T. A. Hedrick.

Throughout his young adult life, he pursued a relationship with the fickle Judith Jones, who drifted in and out of his life. Judith appeared at inopportune times, and Dexter even gave up the chance to marry a solid, wealthy young woman to have a fling with Judith.

But F. Scott Fitzgerald speaks to the reader before the story concludes.

THIS STORY is not his biography, remember, although things creep into it which have nothing to do with those dreams he had when he was young. We are almost done with them and with him now.

The war intervened and years later, Dexter, a successful businessman who no longer lived in the mid-west, held his dreams intact. It is not until an acquaintance brings him news of the demise of Judith’s beauty due to a difficult marriage that the reader witnesses the death of Dexter’s dreams.

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