How we cite our quotes:
Already [Dexter] was playing with the idea of going East to New York. He wanted to take Judy Jones with him. No disillusion as to the world in which she had grown up could cure his illusion as to her desirability. (4.8)
The wording of this passage is fascinating: the narrator acknowledges that Judy's desirability is an illusion, something fake. So that thing that Dexter is striving for so frantically – Judy, worldly achievement, etc. – it's all an illusion anyway. This can't end well for our protagonist.
"Of course you could never love anybody but me," she continued. "I like the way you love me." (4.49)
Judy does not attempt to seduce Dexter by telling him that she is madly, passionately in love with him. Instead, she seems to dwell on his complete devotion to her. She assumes that she has all the power in their pairing, since she cannot believe that he would ever seriously leave her for another woman. And the horrible thing, for both Dexter and for Irene Scheerer, is that she's right. What makes Judy so devastating to Dexter? What is it that gives her such power over him?
Dexter was at bottom hard-minded. The attitude of the city on his action was of no importance to him, not because he was going to leave the city, but because any outside attitude on the situation seemed superficial. He was completely indifferent to popular opinion. Nor, when he had seen that it was no use, that he did not possess in himself the power to move fundamentally or to hold Judy Jones, did he bear any malice toward her. He loved her, and he would love her until the day he was too old for loving – but he could not have her. So he tasted the deep pain that is reserved only for the strong, just as he had tasted for a little while the deep happiness. (5.2)
Dexter doesn't really care what everyone else thinks of his broken engagement with Irene and his one-month fling with Judy. Even though he is super class-conscious, people's judgment of his love affairs doesn't matter to Dexter at all. In other words, he cares what people think of his manners, but not his heart. At the same time, Dexter seems equally unable to judge Judy (Judge Judy!) by looking at her real qualities. She is this absolute ideal to him and, even though she has used him badly again and again, he keeps going back to her. Would you call what Dexter feels for Judy love? Why or why not?