Winter Dreams and the Chrysanthemums


Both “The Chrysanthemums” and “The Winter Dreams” describethe love theme with a quality in dissatisfaction and also with anemphasis that is achievable to the major characters who are Elisa andDexter. Each story’s tone reflect this quality, regardless of thequality seeming to be more of passing the fancy of Steinbeck in“The Chrysanthemums” and Fitzgerald in “The Winter Dreams”,what is unobtainable is the lifelong obsession to Dexter who is themain character. Thus, the tone which Fitzgerald utilizes seems topossess a strong sense of uneasiness up to end of the work (McMichael&amp Leonard, 2011). The feeling is shortened as the war starts soonafter the terminated engagement of Dexter with Judy Jones and alsothe terminated subsequent relishing of the business laundry.

The unobtainable in “The Winter Dreams” is the untamable andyouthful beauty of Judy. In contrast, the unobtainable in “TheChrysanthemums” is the sentiments which are romantic ofindependence which is highly desired by Elisha that later becomespersonified through the vagabond peddler’s character. There is anappreciation and reverence for the natural beauty in the descriptionstyle utilized by the two authors. This is observed in thedescriptions of Fitzgerald concerning Judy Jones and Erminie and itis also seen in the descriptions of Steinbeck about Salina’s valley(Steinbeck, 2014). Both writers utilize idyllic surroundings whichare natural as a backdrop in order to emphasize the inner discontentwhich is greatly contrasting in the main characters. Both Elisa andDexter suffer realizations which are greatly disappointing concerningthe futility about their vain longings.

Both works turn to illustrate the dichotomy that is peculiar in thecurrent society whereby human beings who seemingly have manyopportunities for happiness as seen in Dexter and Elisa still workhard with a level of dissatisfaction which ends up disrupting theirhappiness. The two authors observe this being a trait that isinevitable in the human nature.


McMichael, G., &amp Leonard, J. S. (Eds.). (2011). Concise anthologyof American literature (7th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.

Steinbeck, J. (2014). The chrysanthemums (Vol. 515).PenguinUK.