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Bernice Bobs Her Hair

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  2,083 Ratings  ·  117 Reviews
I want to be a society vampire, you see, she announced coolly, and went on to inform him that bobbed hair was the necessary prelude. She added that she wanted to ask his advice, because she had heard he was so critical about girls.
Paperback, 48 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Kessinger Publishing (first published 1920)
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The Great Gatsby by F. Scott FitzgeraldTrapping the Butterfly by Debra ParmleyBrideshead Revisited by Evelyn WaughThe Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha ChristieThe Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
I am '20s, hear me roar!
28th out of 262 books — 132 voters
Small Craft Warnings by Tennessee WilliamsSuddenly Last Summer by Tennessee WilliamsBaby Doll by Tennessee WilliamsGo Ask Alice by Beatrice SparksThe Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Richey Edwards' Favourite Books
41st out of 58 books — 1 voter

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Bernice vs Marjorie. Cousin vs cousin. Polite and unassuming Bernice is visiting her narcissistic and snobbish cousin Marjorie. When jealously arises over the affections of a certain young man, a battle of wits and wills ensues and reaches a conclusion that is both surprising and satisfying.

This very entertaining short story was first published in 1920 in the Saturday Evening Post. Set in the roaring twenties, but this one has a different feel than other Fitzgerald short stories that I've read.

Anna (Bobs Her Hair)
Oct 29, 2013 Anna (Bobs Her Hair) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: ebook, kindle, fiction
"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!
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
Diane S ☔
Sep 20, 2014 Diane S ☔ rated it liked it
My first Fitzgerald short story and I really enjoyed it. Fitting for the times, a story about the pitfalls of popularity and the hazard of getting what you wish for as well as the sweet taste of revenge.
Tempo de Ler
Apr 05, 2016 Tempo de Ler rated it really liked it
Bernice vai passar o verão com a prima Marjorie na cidade quando escuta, sem querer, Marjorie queixar-se à mãe de como a prima é insonsa, apagada e sem qualquer habilidade social; uma "seca" tão grande que nenhum jovem quer sequer dançar com ela. Depois de ameaçar que se vai embora, Bernice decide, em vez disso, seguir os conselhos da prima de forma a tornar-se mais popular entre os seus pares. Assim, aprende a manter conversas interessantes, elogiando e seduzindo os jovens do sexo masculino. At ...more
Jun 26, 2013 Gaele rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 15, 2016 Nikki rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
As good as expected, did not think it would deal with anything like this, I had more social justice female stuff because of bobbing the hair etc, but the ending was great, well deserved, and I hope Bernice learns to love her hair.
Catherine  Mustread
A satisfying ending after an uncertain beginning -- a boring girl visiting her cousin makes changes in herself in order to become popular. Though not such a great premise, there are some good tips about being a better conversationalist and focusing on the shyer members of the opposite sex.
May 16, 2015 Debbie rated it it was amazing
Classic F. Scott Flappers tale with a "Gotcha B** moment at the end.

Sorry for the explicative in the description but there was no other way to explain it because that is Exactly what I laughed and said at the end.

F. Scott writes "the flapper" and the snobbish rich well. That is exactly who we encounter in this short story. Bernice Bobs Her Hair. This is a story about two cousins. It's a bit of the country mouse vs city mouse in theory. Marjorie is everything city. She dresses fashionably.
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
Alexis Martinez
Nov 28, 2015 Alexis Martinez rated it did not like it
This wasn't something I would ever read again. It was off to a slow start and it remained boring throughout. I only read it because it was required for my literature class.
Maria Stanica
Jan 21, 2015 Maria Stanica rated it it was amazing
I loved this short story! Definitely check it out if you haven't tried anything by F. Scott Fitzgerald, yet.
Ashley Minnnich
Jan 15, 2015 Ashley Minnnich rated it it was amazing
I was forced to read The Great Gatsby in high school, and I remember not really caring for it. Whether this was because I was forced to read it or was too young to really appreciate it at the time remains to be seen. I did however immensely enjoy Bernice Bobs Her Hair. It's a short story of about 100 pages detailing the beginnings of flapper age when girls began to shed their long luxurious locks and donned the short boyish cuts of a bob.

Without detailing too much of the plot, I'll just say tha
Jun 20, 2014 Jessica rated it liked it
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
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
May 21, 2014 Eliza rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
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
Feb 14, 2013 Staci rated it it was amazing
Hair is important, and revenge is sweet. (Quick, one-hour audiobook.)
Dec 08, 2014 Sterlingcindysu rated it liked it
3.5 rounded down. I didn't know F. Scott wrote short stories (short books, sure, but not stories) and I had to get a book of his short stories to get this one. Very clever! and especially apt since it was written by a male.

If you wanted to update it, you could do so easily by saying "Bernice gets a tattoo" (but then I don't know how the ending would go).

In the musical Wicked there's a song called Popular where Galinda maps out how she'll make Elphaba popular, "but not quite as popular as me."
May 06, 2012 Sorcha rated it liked it
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
Nov 25, 2012 Natalie rated it it was amazing
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
Irene Chia
May 19, 2010 Irene Chia rated it really liked it
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
Jul 17, 2010 Fawzy rated it really liked it
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
Jul 11, 2012 M rated it it was amazing
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
Arushi Bhaskar
Aug 30, 2013 Arushi Bhaskar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 11, 2012 Laura rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 17, 2013 Ms. N. Williams rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 29, 2015 Ariel rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
I wish I'd read this prior to The Great Gatsby because I think it would have propelled an interest in his other works that Gatsby just didn't imbibe. I just wasn't dazzled by the Gatsby-glitz and I find/found school reading lists pretty claustrophobic. However, I find myself loving this short story. There's a lot of growth in character for Bernice in a very short page-span, the prose pulling it off quite winningly.
Nov 11, 2015 Doreen rated it liked it
what made me read this story was the blurb -
I want to be a society vampire

this story is about the coming of a girl in the roaring twenties when it was unbecoming of a lady to have a short hair. Bernice was a pretty but dopeless girl who succumbed to peer pressure, i.e. from her beautiful, popular Cousin Marjorie.
Aug 09, 2014 Kate rated it it was ok

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!
Apr 28, 2014 Njolras rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2014
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!
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Revenge and the motive of revenge. 2 7 May 24, 2012 12:02PM  
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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
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