Posted: September 3rd, 2013
“Long ago,” he said, “long ago, there was something in me, but now that thing is gone. Now that thing is gone, that thing is gone. I cannot cry. I cannot care. That thing will come back no more.” (Fitzgerald, 1024).
Dexter grows up in a well off family his father owning one of the best grocery shops in town. He has a job working as a caddie, and he excels at caddying such that he is the best caddie in the entire golf field. He lost several things that were part of his life. During winter, he is filled with sadness emanating from the closure of the golf course for the winter season, he feels quite odd about the spring. He has a dream of being a good golfer and having all the luxuries of life. He moves to college and begins a new life. At one point, he becomes very successful to co-own a chain of laundry outlets, which results in him losing his dream of playing golf and becoming a champion to earn the finer things of life. He also loses the beauty of life as illustrated in this statement ‘The gates were closed, the sun was gone down, and there was no beauty but the gray beauty of steel that withstands all time’. The excerpt from the text can also be interpreted as losing the caring will or losing emotion that led him to sour relations with his fiancée Irene Scheerer. (Fitzgerald, 1011).
Dexter was deeply in love with Judy Jones despite her being very detached from him emotionally. He first met her when he was still a caddie and was drawn to her by her attractiveness. In the text, Dexter refers to her as “There was a general ungodliness in the way her lips twisted, down at the corners when she smiled, and in the-Heaven help us!-in the almost passionate quality of her eyes. Vitality is born early in such women. It was utterly in evidence now, shining through her thin frame in a sort of glow.” (Fitzgerald, 1010).
Dexter experiences emotional trauma due to Judy Jones’ promiscuity, which she openly says to him in the words “I don’t know what the matter with me is. Last night I thought I was in love with a man and to-night I think I’m in love with you”. She at times tells him that she loves him but does not want to marry him as shown in the text She said “maybe some day,” she said “kiss me,” she said “I’d like to marry you,” she said “I love you”. This shows that she was highly insensitive and was only concerned with the materialistic aspects of a man when she says to him “Are you poor?” (Fitzgerald, 1016). This draws him closer to her as she is only interested in affluent men like Dexter. He loses many things namely his ecstasy, and his love for Judy Jones. He realizes that his love for her is gone after he fails to feel any emotional attachment towards her as shown in the text, “Long ago,” he said, “long ago, there was something in me, but now that thing is gone. Now that thing is gone, that thing is gone. I cannot cry. I cannot care. That thing will come back no more.” (Fitzgerald, 1018)
It seems that after she is married she regrets her decision for ill-treating Dexter and refusing to marry him despite his unselfish nature and the way he used to treat her in a dignified manner. She was only worried about her needs and her beauty, which has faded after ten years as illustrated in the text “Look here,” said Dexter, sitting down suddenly, “I don’t understand. You say she was a ‘pretty girl’ and now you say she’s ‘all right.’ (Fitzgerald, 1023). I do not understand what you mean-Judy Jones wasn’t a pretty girl, at all. She was a great beauty. Why, I knew her, I knew her. She was.” In the end, her insensitivity towards others is reciprocated towards her in that her current husband Lud Simms treats her very badly. As implied in the words “Well, that’s, I told you all there is to it. He treats her like the devil. Oh, they’re not going to get divorced or anything. When he’s particularly outrageous, she forgives him. In fact, I’m inclined to think she loves him. She was a pretty girl when she first came to Detroit.” She was very insensitive towards other men whom she left immediately after dating for very short periods, and because of this, she has to face the consequences of using other people to fulfill her own selfish needs without regard for their emotional needs (Fitzgerald, 1024). (790 words)
Baym, Nina, Robert S. Levine, and Arnold Krupat. The Norton Anthology of American Literature: Volume B. New York: W. W. Norton & Company Publishers, 2007. Print.
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