Writing his editor Max Perkins in June 1925, Fitzgerald described "Winter Dreams" as "A sort of first draft of the Gatsby idea." This story first appeared in the December edition of Metropolitan Magazine in 1922.
Dexter Green is a middle-class boy who aspires to be part of the "old money" elite. Dexter mentions that he was born in Keeble, Minnesota. His father owns the second most profitable grocery store in the town. He starts out as a teenage golf caddy at a Golf Club in Black Bear Lake, Minnesota, which has been suggested is really White Bear Lake, where Fitzgerald lived for a relatively short time at the Yacht Club. Dexter meets Judy Jones and works under her father, Mortimer Jones, at the club. He clearly has a crush on her. One day, he is assigned to caddy for her but quits instead; he can't abide acting as one of her servants.
After college, Dexter gets involved in a partnership in a laundry business. He returns to the Sherry Island Golf Club and is invited to play golf with the men for whom he once caddied. He encounters Judy Jones again on the golf course, only now she is older and amazingly beautiful. Later in the evening Dexter swims to a raft on the lake, and runs into Judy, who is driving a motor boat. She asks him to take over while she rides on a surfboard attached to the boat. After this encounter, Judy invites Dexter to dinner, where their affair begins. He soon finds that he is one of a dozen men she is stringing along.
After about 18 months Dexter becomes engaged to Irene Scheerer, a kind but ordinary looking girl, while Judy is vacationing in Florida. When Judy returns, however, she again captures Dexter's heart and asks him to marry her. Dexter breaks off his engagement with Irene, only to be dropped again by Judy a month later. To deal with his heartbreak, Dexter joins the army to fight in World War I.
After the War, seven years later, Dexter has become a businessman in New York City. He had become phenomenally rich and hadn't visited his home in years. On a particular day, a man, Devlin, from Detroit visits Dexter for business. During the meeting, Devlin mentions Judy Simms, formerly Judy Jones, the wife of one his friends and explains how she had become a housewife. Dexter becomes interested and learns from Devlin that Judy had settled and her beauty had faded; her husband is also cruel to her. The news hit Dexter hard as he still had love and hope for Judy. Later Dexter realizes that his dream is gone and that he can never return home now.
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About the Author
Author of the widely lauded novel The Great Gatsby, as well as This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and the Damned, and Tender is the Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald is best known for chronicling the excesses and tribulations of the Jazz Age. One of the leading authors of the post-World War I "Lost Generation," Fitzgerald often invokes themes of youth, beauty, and despair in his books and short stories. He was also known for his hard-partying lifestyle, as well as his marriage to the beautiful yet troubled Zelda Fitzgerald.
Date of Birth:September 24, 1896
Date of Death:December 21, 1940
Place of Birth:St. Paul, Minnesota
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