Female Friendship In Fitzgerald's Bernice Bobs Her Hair

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The 1920’s – a decade frequently referred to as the “Roaring Twenties” – flourished with great social and political change. During this period, the wealth of America doubled, changing the lives of the regular working class and establishing a new consumer culture (“The Roaring Twenties”). Along with this new American society emerged the “New Woman.” This prominent female figure was independent, educated, and often uninterested in traditional female roles such as marriage and motherhood (“The Roaring Twenties”). The New Woman was mirrored in the flapper, which is arguably the most recognizable icon of the 1920’s. The flapper was a vibrant young woman with “bobbed hair and short skirts who drank, smoked and said what might be termed unladylike things” (The Roaring…show more content…
An analysis of the female friendship in Fitzgerald’s “Bernice Bobs Her Hair” demonstrates how a female friendship is both established and terminated because of the desire for social admiration, and how this friendship leads to increased relationships with men. Furthermore, it conveys how the bold personality of the flapper subverts the patriarchal order by resisting traditional Victorian female values. In the beginning of “Bernice Bobs Her Hair,” the friendship between Marjorie and Bernice is established on the basis that Marjorie will teach Bernice the social skills required to make her popular at dances. It is significant to understand that in the years leading up to the 1920’s, “unmarried women’s relationships with men were closely supervised,” and as a result, “adults encouraged them to form tight friendships” with other women (“Bernice Bobs”). The flapper, however, distanced herself from potential female friends and instead engaged in many relationships with men (“Bernice Bobs”). From the start of the story, it becomes obvious that Marjorie and Bernice, while cousins, are not friends. It is said that “Though cousins, they were not intimates,” and in fact,
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