Study Guide

Bernice Bobs Her Hair Part 5

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Part 5

  • Things are marvelous for Bernice now that she's in the limelight, and her self-confidence has improved vastly.
  • Bernice has made a few mistakes in her adventures in society (such as accidentally telling a daring joke to Draycott Deyo, a rather priggish, very religious young man), but overall, things are going swimmingly for her.
  • It's well known about town that Bernice has gained many significant suitors, from Otis Ormonde to G. Reece Stoddard.
  • Everyone's favorite piece of Bernice's schtick is, of course, her line about bobbing her hair. She laughingly leads everybody on, telling them that she's planning on cutting her hair sometime soon, but totally not intending to follow through.
  • Even Warren McIntyre, who once only had eyes for Marjorie, has moved to Bernice's camp. He's sighted at the Harveys' house every day, and everyone in town knows that he's abandoned Marjorie for her cousin.
  • Marjorie laughs all of this off, saying that she's glad that Warren found somebody that returns his affections.
  • However, just before Bernice is bound to return home to Eau Claire, she has a terribly, terribly awkward moment with Marjorie. As the two get ready for a bridge party one afternoon, Marjorie makes a cruel announcement to her cousin: according to Marjorie, Bernice is making a total fool out of herself, and Warren doesn't even like her. Somebody's jealous…
  • The girls' dates arrive, and they rush out of the house.
  • At the party, Bernice is flustered. She honestly didn't know Marjorie was jealous, and feels terrible for taking Warren away from her.
  • Marjorie, however, doesn't just mope around feeling bad for herself – she gets even. When the topic of Bernice's haircut comes up, she coldly exposes the truth and calls Bernice's bluff.
  • Everyone else wants to know if it's true – is Bernice's claim that she'll bob her hair really just a line?
  • Confronted by her new friends, Marjorie, and Warren, Bernice falters for a moment. Then, in response to Marjorie's taunts, Bernice announces that she will bob her hair – that very afternoon.
  • The whole crowd drives down to the barbershop in town, and on the way, Bernice feels like she's heading to her own execution. However, she holds her course; this act, she thinks, will be the final declaration that Bernice deserves the popularity she's newly gained.
  • At the barbershop, a crowd gathers to see the big event. The other patrons of the barbershop are shocked, as is the barber himself.
  • For a moment, Bernice feels her resolve waver as she feels her beautiful hair for the last time. She calmly gathers her courage and waits for the chop.
  • Twenty minutes later, it's all over – Bernice has bobbed her hair.
  • The results are disastrous. Bernice's hair is awful, and the horrible haircut takes away all of her former beauty. Her friends – now ex-friends – are all quietly dismayed, and Warren is suddenly uninterested.
  • In a cruel gesture of victory, Marjorie asks Warren to run some errands with her, and leaves with him.

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