Sunday, October 23, 2011

Fitzgerald’s stories deal with the American Dream and its impossibility to be fulfilled

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Talking about Fitzgerald we can discuss many facts that are reflected in his stories. One of it, is the impossibility to accomplish people’s dreams. This is clearly seen in two of his shorts stories, “Winter Dreams” and “The Rich Boy”. To begin with the analysis of the stories, we have to explain what the American Dream was.


The “American Dream” is a myth that has overtaken the United States of America from its very beginning. Why do people desire to live the American Dream? Where do people develop this wish to fulfill this dream? Who formed these dreams? According to James Truslow the American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position. This quotation shows how far Fitzgerald’s stories are of fulfilled the American Dream.


“Winter Dreams” is a short story that is mostly concerned with lost love. The main character, Dexter Green, is a caddy for the rich people that live there. He falls in love with Judy Jones, a typical flapper how impress men with her “beautifully ugly”. They are together for about a month and then she lives him. Dexter spends the next several years obsessed after her and finally develops the strength to move on. He begins dating a girl named Irene Sheerer and they get engaged. After two years Judy comes and she approaches Dexter. Although he feels bad about dropping Irene, he realizes that he is still in love with Judy. But Judy leaves him again. Dexter moves away to New York and ten years or so later is living by himself. At the end of the story a man who knows of Judy walks into Dexter’s office and tells him that she is married with children, her husband treats her badly, and she has lost her beauty and is unhappy.


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This story shows that the main character has achieved what he has wanted all his life, to be rich, to have a place in rich society, to be very wealthy, but despite all this he is unhappy. Dexter real dream was Judy James, her physical beauty, he does all he can to reach Judy status, he works hard to win money so he can get to her. He goes “from rags to riches”, and he success but his dream not, he reaches money but not love. We can say that is a nostalgic story, because he doesn’t get his dream come true, instead his dream fail.


On the same hand we have “The Rich Boy”, the main character of this story is Anson Hunter who falls in love with the beautiful and rich Paula Legendre, but he always finds some reason for not marrying her, although he maintains that his love for her never stops. Anson becomes an couples maker with married difficulties. Paula marries another man, divorces him, and, when Anson meets her late in the story, he finds her happily remarried and pregnant. Paula, whose admired place has been threat by her pregnancy, finally dies in childbirth. He goes on a cruise, disillusioned that his only real love is gone. Yet he is still willing to flirt with any woman on the ship who will affirm the feeling of superiority about himself that he appreciate in his heart.


At the begging of the story Fitzgerald describes riches “they are different form you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft where we are hard, and cynical where we are trustful”. This is clearly seen in Anson, he was born rich, and he always have what he want. And he thinks that he would always have Paula, so he can’t have a commitment with her. He practically play with her, but at the end he is the one that loose the more important thing, love. He realize what Paula was to him very late and, like Dexter he can fulfilled his love dream, the only dream that they have. But there is a big difference between Dexter and Anson. The firs one had to sacrifice a lot to get into a good position, besides Anson who was born rich and he was in a good status all the time. Despite this difference, both couldn’t reach there goal, there dream which was the love of a women.


After all that we have said about the unfulfilled of the American Dream in Fitzgerald’s stories we can conclude saying that writer in both stories represent how the main characters because of materialism and the lack of self-security made them impotence to accomplish there dreams.





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