This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

It's Every Girl For Herself In Bernice Bobs Her Hair

1632 words - 7 pages

It's Every Girl for Herself in Bernice Bobs Her Hair

 
     Picture a fragile glass merry-go-round, a menagerie, if you will, of adolescent social classes and structure. The animals revolve, always mindlessly following the one in front, each measuring his own height compared to his neighbors. If you fall short or fall behind, never fear, just throw a jagged rock and shatter Mr. Popularity in front, take his place, and the merry-go-round revolves still. There is no world outside, nothing matters more than this brittle status-seeking ambition and the taboos, requirements, and rewards that come with it. Every action is fair game, whatever it takes to achieve your supremacy is allowed and accepted. Fitzgerald's "Bernice Bobs Her Hair", from his collection The Short Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald, revolves significantly around this "semicruel world of adolescence" (26), where, as the character Marjorie eloquently states, "these days it's every girl for herself" (30).

 

Fitzgerald opens the story at a dance, the setting itself creating an immediate and vivid picture of the rotating social classes. Teenagers whirl in, whirl about, and some, "A few disappointed stags caught in midfloor as they had been about to cut in subsided listlessly back to the walls" (26), whirl directly out of the popularity-ring. These unfortunately pathetic young men didn't make the cut, because "this was not like the riotous Christmas dances - these summer hops were considered just pleasantly warm and exciting" (26); they were neither suave nor provocative enough to climb the social ladder. Apparently, charm and wit buy popularity- those without must take their places on the sidelines.

 

Male / female relations too are a crucial and continually fluid aspect of the social merry-go-round. One second up, the other down, emotions change like the wind. Marjorie first displays this in her fickle attitude towards men. Regarding Warren, once the object of her affections, "sometimes she seemed to reciprocate his feeling with a faint gratitude, but she had tried him by her infallible test and informed him gravely that she did not love him." (27); Warren had singularly been devoted to Marjorie for years, but he failed the "test", and, like the pathetic boys at the dance, she pushed him to the sidelines. The "test", interestingly enough, "was that when she was away from him she forgot him and had affairs with other boys." (27). Warren just couldn't measure up to the competition, and Marjorie, exercising necessary social judgement, casually is willing to inform him "gravely" as such. She has no reason not to throw that rock and shatter his affections, because, after all, she has "great heaps of mail... addressed to her in various masculine handwritings." (27) to fall back on.

 

Bernice, Marjorie's "sorta dopeless" (27) cousin enters the scene. Boys reluctantly dance with her, until finally, what choice do they have but to break out the "two by four" and...

Find Another Essay On It's Every Girl for Herself in Bernice Bobs Her Hair

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl: Written by Herself

1004 words - 5 pages run away from my problem but rather face them. Linda on the other hand, could not have done the same thing. Linda’s is a very strong woman who puts her family before anything else in the world, unlike some people in this time. Works Cited Jacobs, Harriet A. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl: Written by Herself. Ed. Lydia Maria Child and Jean Fagan. Yellin. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1987. Print.

Slavery and Christianity in Harriet A. Jacob’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself

1780 words - 7 pages . Most people realize today how hypocritical it was to call oneself a Christian, while treating slaves so horribly. Throughout her book, Harriet Jacobs, in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself, revealed Americans everywhere that slave owners were hypocrites, and calling themselves Christians was perhaps the greatest sin of all. Works Cited Jacobs, Harriet A. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself

Josie Learns About Herself Through The People In Her Life. Explain What She Learns And From Whom

870 words - 4 pages In the novel, Looking for Alibrandi, Josie learn deeper inner truths rather than academic facts. She gained a great deal of knowledge from significant people including Nonna Katia, Michael, John and Jacob. By the end of the novel, Josie turned out to be more accepting and empathetic of the people around her, responsible and self-aware.At first, Josie was a very emotionally distraught teenage girl. She was bothered about her Italian background

"A Rose for Emily" by Willam Faulkner: What does the discovery of a strand of her hair on the pillow suggest and why doesn't the narrator continue the plot in chronological order?

801 words - 3 pages long time. When we saw her again, her hair was cut short, making her look like a girl, with a vague resemblance to those angels in colored church windows--sort of tragic and serene" ( 31).A rose to most is seen as an object of beauty, with such a sweet smell. In this story, we see Emily much like the rose, an object of beauty and desire that soon begins to wither and die. Faulkner, through great use of imagery, paints a vivid of a dying rose

Final Essay for Introduction to Fiction: Lituary insight of Jamaica Kincaid and her story titled "Girl"

821 words - 3 pages . The mother, for example, tells the girl "this is how you sweep a corner; this is how you sweep a whole house; this is how you sweep a yard" (839). The exactness with which the mother preaches lessons to her daughter gives the impression that children grew up under the direction of a drill sergeant.Clearly, Jamaica Kincaid's story "Girl" represents a piece of history steeped in formalities and strictness. Yet, Kincaid's tale of a mother-daughter

It's Time for Uniforms in American Schools

1087 words - 4 pages It's Time for Uniforms in American Schools Works Cited Missing School uniforms have been debated in the public school system for what seem like fifty years. Understand the constructive views that most administrations envision, you start to recognize the goals associated with having students wear them; however, there is a flip side. The unenthusiastic views that are associated with school uniforms present an equally intriguing question

The (in)appropriateness of Edna's behavior throughout the novel. Does her "awakening" benefit society, women, or herself? "The Awakening" by Kate Chopin

1014 words - 4 pages When "The Awakening" begins, Edna is a polite and respectable woman who concerns herself little with her standing in society; however, as her "awakening" progresses, she's transformed into a self-centered and detrimental member of her community. Edna lets her misconception that she has a more complex understanding of the world serve as an excuse for her to harm everyone around her. In reality, Edna's "awakening" is only a change from a kind to

"What are the reasons for Anne Frank's response to the love ethic in her novel, 'The Diary of a Young Girl'" ?Accounts for Franks reaction to the helpers actions

1383 words - 6 pages which she likens her humble helpers to those who sacrifice their lives in war, to Frank they are her soldiers.'That's something we should never forget; while others display their heroism in battle or against the Germans, our helpers prove theirs every day by their good spirits and heroism'The social climate in which Frank found herself in appears to be the driving force for her writing and it is doubted whether such inspiring and emotive expression

For Every Action There is a Reaction in Macbeth

1263 words - 5 pages , Lady Macduff and her children, which later on in the play everyone caught on to why Macbeth killed the innocent, and is to why everyone retired away from his power, went against him and killed him. Macbeth’s death would be considered a “Poetic Justice” in the play Macbeth. The outburst of Lady Macbeth’s death for taking out a suicide would as well be considered a “Poetic Justice” in the play. But the wicked from them all, the three witches do

1920s fashion influenced culture and lifestyle of society in London as portrayed by Sophie Kinsella in her novel, Twenties Girl

1348 words - 6 pages ’, ‘Swimming Pool Sunday’, ‘The Gatecrasher’, ‘The Wedding Girl’, ‘Cocktails for Three’ and ‘Sleeping Arrangements’ (Random House Inc., n.d.). ‘Twenties Girls’ shows how the main character of this novel, Lara Lington adapts with the existence of her great aunt’s ghost, Sadie. Sadie died at the age of 105 and appeared in Lara’s life in her 20-year-old form. As Lara was the only one who can see her, she asked for Lara’s help to find her long lost dragonfly

It's Time for Mandatory Drug Testing in Major League Baseball

1390 words - 6 pages to make every player take a drug test before every game. In this solution players are mandated to take a quick urine test before every game, if the results come in negative the player is cleared to play and if the results come in positive the player is not allowed to play and is suspended for the next fifty games as a penalty enforced by the MLB. Another solution is to make a separate baseball league one that would not test for steroids but

Similar Essays

Bernice Bobs Her Hair Essay

1223 words - 5 pages In the short story “Bernice Bobs Her Hair” by Scott Fitzgerald, Bernice is pressured to be like others and to conform to society’s changing morals. Peer pressure put on by her cousin, Marjorie, and from society causes Bernice to become insecure and unsure of herself. The stresses of peer pressure are the reason that Bernice trades her important moral choices for those of the ever changing society. This results in a further understanding of

“Bernice Bobs Her Hair” Essay

887 words - 4 pages 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

Bernice Bobs Her Hair Essay

1344 words - 5 pages “Bernice Bobs Her Hair';      Have you ever at one time or another felt like an outsider? Many people do, trying desperately to fit in with their social counterparts. Whether it be in school, at work, or life in general, many yearn to be accepted by their peers and feel as though they are a part of some sort of “club'; that is viewed by others as the “in'; crowed. F. Scott Fitzgerald tries

Me Myself And I A Narrative Essay Written For A Friend Describing A Day When A Girl Finds Her Best Friend Is Herself

564 words - 3 pages Me, Myself, and II was on my way to the park on a Tuesday morning to play a leisurely game of baseball with a couple of good friends of mine. I do this every week.I saw my friend Kasey while I was walking to the park, when she saw me she ran to hide behind a big green palm tree. So I snuck behind a nearby white picket fence to get to the other side of the palm tree to surprise her. That's when she jumped over the white picket fence and tackled