The Theme Of Youth In Winter Dreams, By F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Aristotle, a famous Greek philosopher, said in his teachings, “Young people are in a condition like permanent intoxication, because youth is sweet and they are growing.” In most cases, people do not appreciate youth when they have it, and mourn when it is lost. The mourning of one’s youth has been portrayed throughout many pieces of literature including the poems: Summer Days, and Young Lips Old Heart. In the short story “Winter Dreams,” F. Scott Fitzgerald uses Judy Jones and Irene Scheerer as symbols for points of time in Dexter Green’s life, further illustrating Dexter’s desire to retrieve his youth and ability to change. Dexter admires Judy Jones immensely as she is a symbol for his cherished youth, which consequently gives Judy a sense…show more content…
Even though the circumstances were wrong, Judy still “terminated the engagement that she did not want to ‘take him away’ from Irene--Judy, who had wanted nothing else,” didn’t revolt Dexter because “He was beyond any revulsion or any amusement” (8). Youth is aware that people are meant to grow up and that it cannot take them away from maturity because Judy “did not want to ‘take him away’ from Irene.” The fact that Dexter lacks “any revulsion or any amusement” represents how even though Judy has left him, Dexter cannot be upset because he recognizes that he will always be unable to hold on to youth. After he hears of Judy’s aging, Dexter thinks he is invulnerable at first “but he knew that he had just lost something more, as surely as if he had married Judy Jones and seen her fade away before his eyes” (9). Judy was somewhat of a last hope for Dexter that he could stay forever young, but when she eventually ages, he has a revelation that it’s just not possible to escape adulthood. “Fade away” is a significant phrase because it gives maturity a negative portrayal when compared to youth, highlighting Dexter’s pessimistic outlook on old age. Once Dexter realizes that his dream is gone, he frantically tries “to bring up a picture of the waters lapping on Sherry Island and the moonlit veranda, and gingham on the golf-links and the dry sun…these things were no longer in the world! They had existed and they existed no longer” (9). Fitzgerald conveys that youth is a comfort that adults can reflect on when Dexter finds solace in the places he associated with Judy. Although ideas of youth can be comforting to go back to, youth will never be fully regained, especially when Dexter notes “They had existed and they existed no longer.” At the final stage of Dexter’s coping, he reflects on his youth and says, “’long

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