Winter Dreams


F. Scott Fitzgerald

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Winter Dreams can help.
The Sun Symbol Icon

In “Winter Dreams,” Fitzgerald’s descriptions of the sun reflect Dexter’s state of mind. At the beginning of the story, Dexter “squints” up at the sun’s “hard dimensionless glare”—the sun is bright and glorious, not unlike Dexter’s vision of his own future. Later, after his illusion of Judy’s eternal beauty is broken, the sun takes on a dull aspect (“sinking in dull lovely shades of pink and gold”) before disappearing altogether, leaving only “the gray beauty of steel.” This reflects Dexter’s dawning realization that his vision for his future has been misguided and has left him unfulfilled. Furthermore, Dexter’s observation that the setting sun is “pink and gold” is reminiscent of the colors he had associated with Judy—“her bathing suit, which consisted apparently of pink rompers,” and the gold she wears when they reunite at the university club (“cloth of gold,” “gold in a band at her head, gold in two slipper points at her dress’s hem”). Dexter’s conflation of the sun and Judy underscores that, whenever Dexter notices the sun, he inflects his description of it with whatever is on his mind. 

The Sun Quotes in Winter Dreams

The Winter Dreams quotes below all refer to the symbol of The Sun. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Class Mobility and the American Dream Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Thrift Editions edition of Winter Dreams published in 2015.
Section 4 Quotes

A sort of dullness settled down upon Dexter. For the first time in his life he felt like getting very drunk. He knew that he was laughing loudly at something Devlin had said, but he did not know what it was or why it was funny. When, in a few minutes, Devlin went he lay down on his lounge and looked out the window at the New York sky-line into which the sun was sinking in dull lovely shades of pink and gold.

Related Characters: Dexter Green, Judy Jones, Devlin
Related Symbols: Winter Dreams, The Sun
Page Number: N/A
Explanation and Analysis:

The dream was gone. Something had been taken from him. In a sort of panic he pushed the palms of his hands into his eyes and tried 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 and the gold color of her neck’s soft down. And her mouth damp to his kisses and her eyes plaintive with melancholy and her freshness like new fine linen in the morning. Why, these things were no longer in the world! They had existed and they existed no longer.

Related Characters: Dexter Green, Judy Jones
Related Symbols: Winter Dreams, The Sun
Page Number: N/A
Explanation and Analysis:

For the first time in years, there were tears streaming down his face. But they were for himself now…. The gates were closed, the sun was gone down, and there was no beauty but the gray beauty of steel that withstands all time. 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.

Related Characters: Dexter Green
Related Symbols: Winter Dreams, The Sun
Page Number: N/A
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Winter Dreams LitChart as a printable PDF.
Winter Dreams PDF

The Sun Symbol Timeline in Winter Dreams

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Sun appears in Winter Dreams. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Section 4
Dreams, Happiness, and Reality Theme Icon
Time, Progress, and Repetition Theme Icon rid himself of the dullness that overwhelms him. He lays down and watches the sun set over the New York skyline, realizing that his wealth had not rid him of... (full context)