Bernice Bobs her Hair
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Bernice Bobs her Hair

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  1,512 ratings  ·  85 reviews
"Bernice Bobs Her Hair" was Fitzgerald's fourth Saturday Evening Post story (1 May 1920) and provided the subject for the dust-jacket illustration when it was collected in Flappers and Philosophers. It occupies an important position in the Fitzgerald canon as a witty early treatment of a characteristic subject that he would later examine more seriously: the competition for...more
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Published February 27th 2011 by Steel Guitar Publishing (first published 1920)
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Anna (Bobs Her Hair)
Oct 29, 2013 Anna (Bobs Her Hair) rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: fiction, ebook, kindle
"Oh, my Lord!" cried Marjorie in desperation. "You little nut! Girls like you are responsible for all the tiresome colorless marraiges; all those ghastly ineffiencies that pass as feminine qualities. what a blow it must be when a man with imagination marries the beautiful bundle of clothes that he's been building ideals round, and finds that she's just a weak, whining, cowardly mass of affectations!"


I read F. Scott's Fitzgerald's short story "Bernice Bobs Her Hair" in high school. I loved it! A...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly

F. Scott Fitzgerald picked the weakest plots and settings which many who loved to have grand eternal questions spicing up their novels and stories would easily find mundane or of no interest or concern to them. Yet it is here that I find marvel in his works.

What do I care, indeed, about a love triangle among the rich, beautiful, amoral pre-war Americans? Yet he told the story nevertheless and I saw how pristine his prose was and so five stars for "The Great Gatsby" from me.

What do I care about t...more
Gaele
AudioBook Review:
Stars: Overall: 5 Narration: 5 Story: 4
I am admittedly not a huge fan of Fitzgerald’s work, although I can and do appreciate his sharp wit that informs observations and commentary about behavior and motivations. What stands out most sharply is the fact that human behavior and desires have not changed: the characters in this story are self-absorbed, obsessed with fitting in, vary in their social skills and awareness, and are far too prone to influence from those on the “higher ru...more
Cheryl
On Saturday night in the summer-time, from the first tee, you can see the younger set dance in the Country Club with the worst intentions!

F. Scott Fitzgerald's BERNICE BOBS HER HAIR is all about intentions...to be accepted, popular, to influence others, for power and recognition, and control of your life. The results of this kind of expenditure are familiar to all ages and the bedrock of memories easily conjured up when reading Fitzgerald's story of adolescent angst.

Bernice from Eau Claire is s...more
Staci
Hair is important, and revenge is sweet. (Quick, one-hour audiobook.)
Arushi Bhaskar
This short story was an absolute 'hoot'.

Fitzgerald shows remarkable talent by stripping down the girls to their basic natural traits in so few pages. The writing was simple, yet clever. The story has a chilling moral message, but instead of depressing you or putting you of after reading the story, it just acts as a reminder of the fact that change in outward appearances may not always be consistent with change in yourself spiritually, aesthetically, morally, or even intellectually. In fact, it...more
Jessica
This is the first Fitzgerald short story that I have read. I love the prose in his novels, but this story seemed to fall short in that category.

Pros :
•Sweet sweet revenge
•Allusion to Marie Antoinette
•Marjorie's "test" for potential "fellas"
•Some select quotations... "He wondered idly whether she was a poor conversationalist because she got no attention or got no attention because she was a poor conversationalist.
•Portrayal of feminine beauty standards under patriarchal society and the toll tha...more
Viji Sarath (Bookish endeavors)
I wouldn't say that I was emotionally touched but I liked the story. The ending was fun,exactly what I would have done.(mischievous me.!!) This is a story about a teenage girl who wants to become popular and imitates the appearance of popular 'gardenia' girls. She likes it in the beginning,the attention that she gets. But in spite of all the change in her appearances,she can't change what she is internally. She behaves like a naive girl and is trapped into cutting her hair,which makes her look l...more
Sara
A story about a wallflower hopelessly behind the times until her popular cousin Marjorie gives her a makeover. She's the center of attention, even catching the glances of her cousin's favorite boytoy. When Marjorie gets jealous, she tricks Bernice into bobbing her hair knowing it'll look bad, and Bernice is humiliated.

But fear not, we're not looking at a heavy-handed Be Yourself lesson here! After realizing her cousin's selfish and jealous motives, Bernice takes her first REAL step as an indepen...more
Eliza
I'm amazed that after so many years of reading short stories (many of which were Fitzgerald's) this was my first time with "Bernice Bobs Her Hair." I hate to ruin the plot for those who haven't read it, so I'll just say I like the title's multiple layers of meaning. The character of Marjorie is pretty similar to most of Fitzgerald's powerful, selfish women that I've "met" in some of my favorite stories of his. And the hapless Warren looked pretty familiar too. Loved this story and its thoughts o...more
Sorcha
Listened to as part of Craftlit podcast.

Bernice, a large and rich fish in a small pool is staying with her cousin in New York, and finds out that she is a small and rather boring fish in a large pool.

Her cousin Marjorie (after being overheard slanging her off after yet another disaterous party where men are bribed to dance with Bernice) tells her some home truths about what Bernice has to do to make herself popular - and it doesnt always involve her having lots of money or telling boys of what...more
Natalie
I read this short story once in high school, and since I was currently rereading The Great Gatsby, I thought it appropriate to revisit this short story.

I like it. It touches on that distasteful business of "fitting in." Something most of us could relate to. Why is this is such a pressing need in society? Why do we do this to each other? Marjorie is that nasty "popular" girl who instinctfully knows how to work the crowds. Bernice is trying to be herself, but comes off as a boring snob. To be hon...more
Irene Chia
In this story, Bernice Bobs Her Hair, Fitzgerald spun an interesting tale about “the shifting, semicruel world of adolescence”, comically stating that “a young man with a large income leads the life of a hunted partridge”.

In this world, Fitzgerald settled on three teenagers: Warren McIntyre, Marjorie Harvey and her cousin, Bernice from Eau Claire. Warren has eyes only for Marjorie but Marjorie is a popular girl and worse, had declared she does not love Warren, could only reciprocate his feelings...more
Fawzy
If you love beautiful sentences, then you should read this book. The first Fizgerald book I read was This Side of Paradise, which I really loved. I then read Tender is the Night, which is my favorite. After thatn I went for The Great Gatsby which I found to be as symetrical and perfect as Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. I had read some of Fitsgerald's stories in school and I liked them but I had yet to get a crack at any of his collections.

Fitzgerlad used to tell Hemingway that he would cha...more
Melissa
Reflections for MS Lit Class:

Bernice is described as conservative and dull in this short story, but through it all I was in her corner. As an ex-teen girl I still remember how it felt to want to change yourself to fit in (I think most adults still feel this need, it’s not just for teens, and not just for girls) “if I were skinnier, if I were funnier, if I went to the parties, if I had different friends….” The adolescent experience is a bit like playing chess, we make our moves deliberately, hopi...more
Laura
Excelente conto de Fitzgerald!!!!!!! Usa muito sarcasmo e crítica. Este conto narra a história interessante de como uma amiga tenta ajudar a outra, até que o ciúme surgir e derrubar a ajuda dada. Bernice era anti-social e não conversava com ninguém. Marjorie ajuda Bernice a se comportar com os rapazes, dançar, e, até mesmo, a ser paquerada, mesmo não sendo admirada pelos rapazes. Quando decide cortar o cabelo bem curto e deixá-los cacheados, descobre que estava sendo enganada e, a partir daí, de...more
Ms. N. Williams
This was a wonderfully crafted satirical short story that I read within a couple of hours.

Bernice, is well-monied but socially unimpressive. Wanting her to eventually marry, her parents send her off one summer to visit her cousin to become more socialized to the scene of young adults of her age and social standing. When Bernice's cousin suggests she come up with something intriguing about her, they settle upon the concept of Bernice cutting her hair into the boy-like bob haircut. This immediate...more
Kate
Oy.

A story typical for it's time. Fitz's penchant for descriptives is not lacking here, but the last few pages really saves this piece. I smiled, an found myself cheering for Bernice. I'd have liked it to be a bit longer, but such is a short story!
Njolras
This was wild from the beginning to the end. I'm incredibly weak for teenage girl-stories in other eras, so I couldn't possibly dislike this. So glad Fitzgerald refrains from daft "morals of the story". You go get your revenge/freedom/poise and charm Bernice!
Samantha Glasser
I have always found it easier to read Fitzgerald's short stories, and this is one of his best. It is a fun and well-written romp about a young woman named Bernice who comes to visit her cousin. Bernice is quite old fashioned with long curls and outdated dresses. Her cousin is a flapper and has men flocking around her.

Bernice does her best, but she just cannot captivate men with these modern women around. So she does what she can and she bobs her hair.

The story is simple, but it is something th...more
Stacy Knight
Amusing and provides a he'll of a bone to chew on.
Rebecca Dunbar
Loved this story! Super ending - Bernice becomes a society vampire, stripping cousin Marjorie of her blonde braids in revenge!
Rohun Ati
Not a profound story by any means, but it's super funny and quite witty. I found it thoroughly entertaining and clever. If you've never read Fitzgerald before, you begin to learn of his strong grasp of social manner.
Laura
Not the best Fitzgerald I have ever read, but I will say that the ending is immensely satisfying, and I definitely related to Berniece in that instance. Could not stand Marjorie, and I am always amazed at how horrible, bitchy women seem to be able to hold men in such thrall. In the end, I wanted to see & hear her reaction to what Berniece did, but Fitzgerald did end in such a way as to leave the reader imagining any number of fitting aftermaths to the betrayal.
Nyasha Junior
Lovely writing but not great storytelling #sixwordreview
Annie
Feb 08, 2007 Annie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone from High School to 80 years old
This is a novellette by F. Scott Fritzgerald, set as most of his books, in the roaring twenties in America. The "story" centers around Margery, a young privileged girl, and her cousin, Bernice. Margery introduces Bernice to "society" and Bernice falls short of what Margery thinks is a vivicious, popular girl. What happens next is priceless. It reminds me of "mean girls", 1920's style. Have fun! You can read it in an hour.
Ben
I loved the ending of "Bernice Bobs Her Hair"! Fitzgerald describes women searching for social popularity but it proves to be a dangerous quest with "success" based on the whims of others. It could be construed as a feminist tragedy since Bernice, who doesn't have vigorous qualities, falls victim to Marjorie's madness. The dark fog hovering around the story gives the reader an idea of FSF's feelings on the matter.
Kitty
There was a part towards the end of this where I actually set down the book and LAUGHED. It was this absolutely mad, really evil sounding laugh. And to further my admission into the Hannah Barbara villain hall of fame I rubbed my hands together while cackling, until I wasn't sure who ended up receiving more satisfaction - myself or Bernice.

Oh my god. Why didn't Fitzgerald write a book about these two instead?
Heather
Listening via the Craftlit podcast.

Fun little story. I <3 Bernice's last action. Sweet sweet revenge. And I loved that Heather Ordover gave some background information- this was written before bobs were stylized- women were just going to the Barber and getting a chunk chopped off. There wasn't any shaping to it, no curls around the face: just a chop. Made me feel for Bernice.
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Revenge and the motive of revenge. 2 7 May 24, 2012 12:02PM  
  • Some Sort of Epic Grandeur: The Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Baby Doll
  • The Storm
  • The Lady with the Little Dog
  • Old New York: Four Novellas
  • The Celestial Omnibus and other Stories
  • Hills like White Elephants
  • Paul's Case
  • The Ransom of Red Chief
  • Behind a Mask, Or, a Woman's Power
  • The Horror at Red Hook
  • A Jury of Her Peers
  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Other Pieces
  • Smoke
  • Sometimes Madness Is Wisdom: Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald: A Marriage
  • Miracle of the Rose
  • Prick Up Your Ears: The Biography of Joe Orton
  • La Parure
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Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was an American writer of novels and short stories, whose works have been seen as evocative of the Jazz Age, a term he himself allegedly coined. He is regarded as one of the greatest twentieth century writers. Fitzgerald was of the self-styled "Lost Generation," Americans born in the 1890s who came of age during World War I. He finished four novels, left a fifth unfini...more
More about F. Scott Fitzgerald...
The Great Gatsby Tender Is the Night This Side of Paradise The Curious Case of Benjamin Button The Beautiful and Damned

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