#TBT Check Out the Character Origins of Gatsby and Daisy in Fitzgerald’s Short Story “Winter Dreams”
There’s a reason why nearly everyone has read The Great Gatsby and hardly anyone has read Tender Is the Night. “Winter Dreams“ is an obvious example of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s early attempts to perfect the idea of Gatsby. Its main characters—the self-made Dexter and Judy Jones who swims with a “sinuous crawl”—are a proto-Gatsby and Daisy, but I feel “Winter Dreams“ represents a different facet to the great promise of the “American dream.”
“He knew the sort of men they were–the men who when he first went to college had entered from the great prep schools with graceful clothes and the deep tan of healthy summers. He had seen that, in one sense, he was better than these men. He was newer and stronger. Yet in acknowledging to himself that he wished his children to be like them he was admitting that he was but the rough, strong stuff from which they eternally sprang.”
Fitzgerald unknowingly tapped into the immigrant perspective, of making it in America only for the chance that their children can one day take it for granted. It’s a great story with observations on Americanism that were as true to the Lost Generation as they are now. You can read it for free here or get it as a part of a short story collection.