In F. Scott Fitzgerald's "Winter Dreams," what does Judy represent to Dexter?

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For Dexter, Judy represents all that glitters. That is, she is the embodiment of ambition and success, money, and beauty.

That's what Dexter wants, and that's why he never sees her as she truly is. Judy is just human, but Dexter sees her as perfect, as the key to his happiness. She isn't, and Dexter's bubble is burst at the end of the story when he finally realizes this.

Let's take a look at some evidence for this idea that Judy represents all that is desirable to Dexter: beauty, riches, and success.

First, let's note that Dexter is highly ambitious, even in his youth. He doesn't even have to work as a teenager, since his dad makes enough money to support their family, but Dexter works anyway--day in and day out, he caddies at the golf course, all for a few dollars a day. He wants the "pocket-money," or the money he can have on his own to spend.

More evidence of Dexter's ambition and success appears when the narrator informs us of it directly, and when we see Dexter climbing higher in the social and financial hierarchies:

  • "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."
  • "He made money. It was rather amazing."
  • "Before he was twenty-seven he owned the largest string of laundries in his section of the country."
  • (Spoken by Dexter to Judy) "I'm probably making more money than any man my age in the Northwest." 

So we know that Dexter wants to possess wealth, specifically "the glittering things" in life, and we know he wants to possess Judy, although she continually torments him. (She's constantly drawing him in, then pushing him away.) Dexter realizes that he can never truly have her, but he still desires her because for him, she's not just the epitome of beauty, but also his loftiest, most unattainable goal in life.

Why would we say she represents money then, or "all that glitters"? Because, in the story, Judy literally glitters.

Every time her beauty is described in the story, you get a mental image of a figure bathed in golden light. Here's the most relevant of these images:

"Judy Jones, a slender enamelled doll in cloth of gold: gold in a band at her head, gold in two slipper points at her dress's hem. The fragile glow of her face seemed to blossom as she smiled at him."

She's dressed in gold, wearing a halo, and glowing. She glimmers. That image of Judy as something that glitters, and as a creature who's more than human (part angel and part doll) helps support the idea that she represents success, beauty, and money for Dexter, which is what he wants.

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In the short story "Winter Dreams" by F. Scott Fitzgerald, what is the relationship between Judy and Dexter?

The previous Educator has explained the fickle and shallow nature of Dexter Green's obsession with Judy Jones. I refrain from calling it love, despite their engagement, because Dexter never really gets to know her. Arguably, Dexter's love for Judy begins with his admiration for her father, Mortimer Jones, and the other wealthy men for whom he caddies at the Sherry Island Golf Club in his native Minnesota.

Dexter decides, based on his contact with these men, that he doesn't merely want to be in proximity to the "glittering things" that they own—he wants to possess them himself. Judy is one of those glittering things. Fitzgerald uses certain colors to emphasize this quality in Judy. She's blonde; when they meet at a dance she's wearing gold; when she tans in the summer, she has a bronze-like quality. Dexter seems to believe that if he can have Judy, he can prove to himself that he is as successful and worthy a man as those whom he grew up around.

Oddly, though, after he leaves Minnesota and goes back home to reunite with these characters, Dexter finds that they're not as admirable as he thought. For instance, T.A. Hedrick isn't as great of an athlete as he thought. However, Dexter never applies this clear-eyed vision to Judy. Part of her allure, of course, comes from the fact that he can never really have her. She keeps him at arm's length and has other suitors. Judy's interest in Dexter seems to be based on his unyielding admiration, which flatters her and gives her something to do during episodes of boredom.

Dexter, on the other hand, has idealized Judy's beauty and associates her with his youth, in which time seemed to stretch on forever. When his associate, Devlin, diminishes her beauty, Dexter takes it as an insult—a suggestion that the thing that he desired most was not particularly special. When Dexter learns that she's aged, it makes him realize that he's getting older, too, and that there are limitations on his desires.

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In the short story "Winter Dreams" by F. Scott Fitzgerald, what is the relationship between Judy and Dexter?

In “Winter Dreams” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Judy and Dexter have a tumultuous, “seasonal” romance. Dexter is obsessed with Judy’s beauty and mysterious ways. She is a fickle lover who goes through men on a regular basis, as she easily grows bored with her dates, including Dexter. To Judy, declaring her love for someone is a meaningless exercise. On the other hand, Dexter dreams of days with Judy and lives for his opportunities to spend time with her. He is driven by her unattainable love. Judy is aware of Dexter’s feelings, and takes advantage of him. When he decides to move on, by planning an engagement to another, more stable but less exciting woman, Judy swoops in declaring her love. Dexter walks away from his potential marriage, only to have his heart broken again. War separates them, yet Dexter still dreams of the woman he cannot have. Judy ends up in a difficult marriage and loses her beauty, which puts an end to Dexter’s dreams for the last time. Dexter’s infatuation with Judy dies with her beauty

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