Although it has been at least two years since I read The Great Gatsby, there are undoubtedly numerous similarities between that novel, and the short story “Winter Dreams.” Jay Gatsby and Dexter Green are both men who come from humble beginnings, and who are utterly infatuated with two beautiful, upper-class women who they track around for years (Daisy and Judy Jones). Jay Gatsby knew that he wouldn’t be enough for Daisy as he was, so he disappeared for a number of years, and then returned (after accumulating great wealth) to try to win her back… unfortunately, she had since married and Gatsby was forced to love her from afar. However, in The Great Gatsby, Gatsby’s return seems to rekindle the fire between himself and Daisy… the only thing really stopping them is her marriage. The difference between the novel and the story is, that Gatsby has to leave again for Daisy to remain in good standing with her
In "Winter Dreams," Dexter Green started out poor as well, but his quick business sense, and smarts pulled him through, and he got to be very wealthy. After running around using men for a number of years, she finds herself married to one that does it to her!At the end of the story, Dexter isn"tmt really lamenting the loss of Judy Jones to another man. The war is put into the story, primarily to mark the passing of time, and perhaps also the mental maturation of Dexter Green. Even while he was engaged to his fiancee, he realized that eventually, everything came down to Judy; he was willing to give up his future with his fiancee just for one more night with her! When Devlin tells him what has become of Judy, and that she is no longer beautiful but merely "all right," Dexter finally realizes what a poor investment he made. He doesn"tmt get the girl in the end either" Judy Jones uses him, but marries another man. Ever since he fell in love with Judy, he had been haunted by everything about her" especially her physical appearance. Now that she has "faded," he realizes for the first time how truly old he is, and how after all these years, he really is all alone. The death of the American Dream is evidenced in this story, because the American Dreams is equivocal to success. No character in "Winter Dreams" really succeeds. Judy was incapable of loving any one person, and instead merely used men and threw them out when she got bored. And not even Judy ends up happy! Her beauty and charm are lost by the end of the story, and she is married to a man who doesn"tmt really care about her. In the story, Judy is the one who leaves for a while, and on her return, her interest in Dexter flares up for merely one night" during which she ruins his future with his fiancee. His infatuation with Judy Jones lasted over the course of many years (beginning, he thinks, when she was only 11" until she reached 27 years of age).