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Analysis

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 really short). This may not seem like a big deal to us, but back in the early 1920s, it was simply shocking. Though the title may not mean a lot to us, it would have immediately told readers of Fitzgerald's time a couple of things. Like many of his stories, "Bernice" is about the new generation of young people that came of age in the Roaring Twenties, often represented by short skirts, fast cars, free-flowing booze, and – you guessed it – bobbed hair. Though we're used to seeing girls with short hair, it was a novelty back in Fitzgerald's day, and the hairstyle represented the new kind of daring, modern woman who was just emerging.

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