F. Scott Fitzgerald's 'Bernice Bobs Her Hair'

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Commonly referred to as the “roaring twenties”, the 1920s was a crucial period in the changing role of women. No longer a dainty housewife, the Jazz Age woman was independent and ambitious. In “Bernice Bobs her Hair”, F. Scott Fitzgerald introduces two young women, Bernice and Marjorie, who represent two contrasting personalities in 1920s society: a meek “girly-girl” with dated values and an audacious young lady who appears to not care what others think. Ironically, they both share a concrete definition of femininity. With their questions and concerns on what a woman should and should not do, both characters represent the role confusion shared by many 1920s women.
Bernice prides herself in her family’s old fashioned values, that a woman must be polite and gentle in order to be feminine. However, since she never was allowed to fully express herself, her social skills turned awry and she fails to win the attention of men. Therefore, she seeks her cousin,
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Though she strives to be the independent Jazz Age woman, the societal pressure for females to be physically attractive is still too overwhelming for her to attain that goal. This is why she convinces Bernice to bob her hair - not because Marjorie wanted her cousin to resemble a trendy flapper girl - but because Marjorie herself found that hairstyle to be unattractive, and she secretly wanted to prevent Bernice from getting more attention from men than she did. Specifically, Marjorie wanted to prevent her from getting more attention from her crush, Warren, than she did. Right after Bernice’s hair is bobbed at the salon, for instance, Bernice “noticed Marjorie's mouth curved in attenuated mockery”,,” before she turned to Warren and asked him to go with her to get a dress at the cleaners. (Fitzgerald 10). Marjorie had hoped that the new drab look for Bernice would persuade Warren to spend time with her instead of with her
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