"No disillusion as to the world in which she had grown up could cure his illusion as to her desirability...."
See in text (Part IV)
The conflict between romantic illusion and reality is a major theme in the story. Dexter’s youthful illusions about the elite upper class and his associating it with grace, style, beauty, glamour, and excitement have faded with his exposure to it through his relationship with Judy once he had become a financial success. However, he fails to see that Judy’s desirability is also an illusion, just as his winter dreams had been romantic rather than realistic.
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""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."
See in text (Part VI)
A major theme in the story is finalized in the conclusion: romantic illusions will ultimately be destroyed by reality. Dexter can no longer lose himself in them.