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Themes

Talk about a stab in the back – the antagonist of "Bernice Bobs Her Hair" flips instantly from mentor to metaphorical murderer. The end of this story hinges upon a vicious act of betrayal, and in its aftermath, nothing can possibly be the same again. The story rather uncomfortably asks us to examine just how quickly things can go from ideal to awful – and how the twin demons of competition and jealousy can instantly change the nature of a relationship.

Questions About Betrayal

  1. Why does Marjorie betray Bernice?
  2. Do you think Bernice's relationship with Warren is a betrayal of Marjorie's trust?
  3. Do you think Marjorie is actually sorry at all at the end of the story?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

"Bernice Bobs Her Hair" depicts betrayal as the result of misunderstanding, rather than malice.

Marjorie's betrayal of Bernice is motivated and justified by another betrayal – Bernice's initial betrayal of Marjorie.

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