Spectacular Case of Wintry Dreams: A Debordian Reading of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “Winter Dreams”

Mohammad Mehdi Kimiagari

Abstract


A constant failure and frustration of relationships can be traced in most of Fitzgerald’s works of fiction. The most prominent instance seems to be the case of Gatsby and his elusive and obscure object of desire Daisy, yet Fitzgerald’s short stories can be considered as no exception. “Winter Dreams” is one of the short stories in which the prospect of an imminent downfall of relationship always haunts the protagonist. This essay attempts to shed light on the roots of this meltdown through Guy Debord’s theories. As a founding member of Situationist International (SI), Debord believed that the modern world’s defining characteristic is spectacle which mediates the relationships among the members of society. The lack of directness and immediacy which is caused by the Society of the Spectacle (La Société du Spectacle) seems to be the originator of the unremitting failure between the characters in the case of “Winter Dreams” and therein lies the rub.

 


Keywords


F. Scott Fitzgerald, Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle (La Société du Spectacle), Sign-value, Exchange-value

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References


Baym, N., & Levine, R. S. (2012). The Norton Anthology of American Literature. New York: W. W. Norton.

Debord, G. (1994). The Society of the Spectacle. New York: Zone Books.

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Murray, A., & Whyte, J. (2011). The Agamben Dictionary. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Nilsen, H. (1987). A Failure to Love: A Note on F.Scott Fitzgerald's "The Rich Boy" The International Fiction Review, 14(1), 40-43.

Petry, A. H. (1989). Fitzgerald's Craft of Short Fiction: The Collected Stories, 1920-1935. Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.6n.2p.203

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