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Analysis

Literary Devices in Bernice Bobs Her Hair

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

It's obvious from the title that hair – and a certain haircut – is of great import in this text. It sounds silly, but hair (both Bernice's and Marjorie's) has great symbolic weight here. There'...

Setting

Let's start with the time: even though Fitzgerald doesn't come out and say what year it is, his story is very much written in the here and now. Based on its original date of publication (May, 1920)...

Narrator Point of View

"Bernice Bobs Her Hair" is told in the third person by an unseen narrative presence. This presence is omniscient, which means that we get juicy glimpses into the minds of various characters, such a...

Genre

This story is most easily defined as an example of the coming of age genre; we see, sometimes literally, the shaping of a new, modern, popular Bernice from the somewhat dopy, old-fashioned, and uns...

Tone

One of Fitzgerald's greatest gifts is his ear for dialogue and comic timing – his stories are often hilarious without having to resort to literary slapstick. "Bernice Bobs Her Hair" is no excepti...

Writing Style

Fitzgerald is truly one of the masters of the short story. His works are beautifully structured, well paced, and thoroughly engaging. How, you ask, does he manage to hit the nail on the head almost...

What's Up With the Title?

Everyone's got a line, right? A gimmick, a schtick, a catchphrase? Well, this title gives away our heroine's favorite line – Bernice tells everyone that she's going to bob her hair (cut it re...

What's Up With the Ending?

This is certainly one of Fitzgerald's more amazing endings. It's a bit of a shocker – the once quiet, sedate Bernice ends up running off in the dead of night, after brutally cutting off her w...

Plot Analysis

Bernice visits her cousin, Marjorie, for the summer.The set-up to this story is simple – Marjorie is a ten, but her cousin Bernice is a zero. We see evidence of this at the country club dance, wh...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Voyage and Return

Parts 1-3 – Bernice, who's visiting for the summer, fails to impress her cousin Marjorie and her young, popular friends.The first section of the story is devoted to telling us about just how dull...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Bernice's thoroughly uneventful visit suddenly explodes with eventfulness – after her fight with Marjorie, she promises to do everything her cousin tells her in order to learn the art of populari...

Trivia

"Bernice Bobs Her Hair" was based on a real letter Fitzgerald wrote to his little sister, Annabel, in which he gave her advice on how to win over the guys. (Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Short Stories...

Steaminess Rating

Sex is definitely in the mix here, but not overtly. Our primary concerns here are really attraction and flirtation. Yes, there's heavy flirting going on left and right here, but there's nothing out...

Allusions

Annie Fellows Johnston (26)Louisa May Alcott, Little Women (50)Oscar Wilde (72)League of Nations (60)Shell shock (84) Marie Antoinette (104)
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