Bernice Bobs Her Hair
Identity Quotes Page 3
How we cite our quotes:
Suddenly she drew in her breath sharply and an expression flashed into her eyes that a practised character reader might have connected vaguely with the set look she had worn in the barber's chair-- somehow a development of it. It was quite a new look for Bernice and it carried consequences. (125)
Here's something interesting – the emergence of a new Bernice. Or rather, a new new Bernice. The determination that shines in her eyes here shows us that she has changed profoundly; this newfound identity is both intriguing and a little menacing. What are the "consequences" of it?
Down-stairs she opened the big front door, closed it carefully behind her, and feeling oddly happy and exuberant stepped off the porch into the moonlight, swinging her heavy grip like a shopping-bag. After a minute's brisk walk she discovered that her left hand still held the two blond braids. She laughed unexpectedly – had to shut her mouth hard to keep from emitting an absolute peal. She was passing Warren's house now, and on the impulse she set down her baggage, and swinging the braids like pieces of rope flung them at the wooden porch, where they landed with a slight thud. She laughed again, no longer restraining herself.
"Huh!" she giggled wildly. "Scalp the selfish thing!" (128)
The new (real?) Bernice is indeed a force to be reckoned with. The glee that she feels here is definitely both joyful and a little hysterical – what exactly has been unleashed by the barber's scissors? Her final line, "Scalp the selfish thing!" refers back to Marjorie's pejorative comment about Bernice's "crazy Indian blood"; through this parallel, Fitzgerald suggests that there's something ancestrally savage about this new, liberated Bernice.