American Dream is an ideal of life in which personal happiness and material comfort can coexist. Still, the discrepancy between these two concepts usually drives them to exclude each other. Such elimination was captured by F. Scott Fitzgerald and embedded in the characters of his short story 'Winter Dreams.'.
Dexter Green starts out with power and status that wealth will afford, and then shifts his focus to Judy Jones, who is a beautiful woman and embodies his dream. Judy arouses in him the feeling of 'magnificently attune to life', 'a brightness and a glamour he might never know again'. Yet, Dexter's prosperity does not help him to have Judy; what he owns is just a moment of 'exquisite excitability'. Furthermore, Dexter becomes irrational and 'unconsciously dictated' by his ambition. He disregards her untruth and inconstancy, and indeed nurtures 'the gratification of her desires' and 'the direct exercise of her own charm.' Judy's omnipotence blinds his due engagement with Irene Scheerer, and devastates him in 'deep pain'. Likewise, he gains little fulfillment in social aspirations, for he disinterests in boring old golfers and wild young party men.
More regretfully, Dexter's vision of success in amass fortune ultimately surges him with emptiness. When hearing about his goddess' aging process, he is vulnerably exposed to the loss of Judy again, 'as if he had married Judy Jones and seen her fade away before his eyes'. The real present forces Judy's earlier images to become only the past. 'The dream was gone', so was Dexter's ability to continue loving her. Additionally, the corruption of Judy's world spontaneously leads to the fall of the liveliness of his youthful desires. His epiphany into the greatest value of his dreams is not the goals themselves but rather the dreaming journey. Now, the satisfaction accompanying his adventure has gone; his disillusionment abandons him with hollowness, and 'even the grief he could have borne was left behind in the country of illusion, of youth, of the richness of life, where his winter dreams had flourished.