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“Bernice Bobs Her Hair” Essay

887 words - 4 pages

Teenagers are young, naïve and impressionable. They are also insecure and usually sometimes unable to express themselves so they put others down. They are pressured daily to do things they really don’t want to do. They often find themselves doing something they said they would never do. Because of the influence of those around them, they are trying to cover their insecurities by saying things to make others feel bad about themselves. The traits above describe the two main characters in the short story “Bernice Bobs Her Hair”. Both Bernice and Marjorie are young teens dealing with the pressure of being popular and fitting in. Bernice, being the quieter, shyer girl, deals with trying to fit in in a place she feels she doesn’t belong. Marjorie, the louder, seemingly confident girl puts on a front about who she is, deep down being an extremely jealous person. The characters in the story are both dealing with insecurities, each reacting in there own way.
Bernice, from the short story “Bernice Bobs Her Hair”, is no different from the average teenager in almost any society around the world. Bernice is pressured and is trying to fit into a society that she feels uncomfortable in. When she does conform and change and begins to feel semi-comfortable, the tables turn and people are challenging her sincerity. No matter if she sticks to what she knows or conforms to those around her, someone is still unhappy with her. Bernice is not a social girl. She never really had any friends. The people she considered her friends back home were only around her because she had money. When she goes to stay with her cousin, Marjorie, Bernice is unpopular and it makes her seem insecure. “Bernice felt a vague pain that she was not at present engaged in being popular” (Fitzgerald 213.) She is insecure about what others think of her. Like most teens, she reacts to her insecurities. Bernice subjects herself to changing her appearance and mannerisms to what the people around her think is cool or hip. As a teen myself, I can relate to Bernice. I have often changed how I act and dress to get along with the people around me. When I was friends with a modest group of girls, I gradually found myself dressing more modestly. When I was around girls who wore a lot of makeup, I found myself also caking on eyeliner, lip-gloss and foundation. Teenagers want to fit in; we want to be a part of a whole. Bernice wanted to be a part of the community around her, as I also wanted to be a part of a society around me. The...

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