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An Analysis Of The Use Of The American Dream Within F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Text Winter Dreams

1364 words - 6 pages

“It was a mood of intense appreciation, a sense that, for once, he was magnificently attuned to life and that everything about him was radiating a brightness and a glamor he might never know again.” (Winter, 738) Life is full of opportunities. From the instant you are born, the circumstances you are born into are immediately narrowing down the options for where you will end up in life. You can be dropped into one of four broad categories. The first of these categories being the individuals that live life among the fame and the fortune. The second category is full of those that are searching desperately for that fame and fortune, often times wasting their opportunities for happiness. The third category contains those that are middle class, career oriented, and a majority of the time appear to be content with what they do. The fourth category is perhaps the most general. It is the real working class. It is full of the individuals that are in charge of the jobs that no one else is willing to handle. They maintain the upper class’s way of life. This class of individuals can never quite pull themselves up enough to be considered more than workers, due to the brands that the upper class has stamped on them. Dexter is one of those people that lives for the fortune. He craves the nice things in life, and spends a surprising amount of his time attempting to find ways to get them. Dexter thrives on the classic American Dream idea of your work determining how successful you are. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s text Winter Dreams toys with the idea of the American Dream in comparison to the lives of those that were born into fortune.
The fact that Dexter was brought up on the outskirts of a life of fortune gave him a strict appreciation for the idea of the American Dream. Dexter’s father was the owner of one of the best grocery stores in the area. That in itself is proof enough that Dexter knows the value of hard work. His father didn’t become the best grocer by sitting around and doing nothing. He watched his father build his business. Dexter has had enough of an example to know that unless you were born into a world of money, you have to work to get what you want, and even then, it doesn’t hurt to work a little now and then. On top of that, Dexter has a job that he is shockingly good at. Though he admits that the job is mostly for pocket money, he is still described as being, “’The best caddy I ever saw.’ . . . ‘Never lost a ball! Willing! Intelligent! Quiet! Honest! Grateful!’” (Winter, 732) Even though he does not necessarily need to work, he has watched his father enough to know that the work pays of, and in his case it does. He is one of the most requested caddies at the course due to the fact that he actually knows how to work. Not only that, but he believes that if he continues to work hard, that work will pay off. In a material sense, it does pay off for him. Though Dexter never really achieves a state of true happiness, he does come shockingly close to a...

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