Posted in Short Stories

F. Scott Fitzgerald: Bernice Bobs Her Hair (Deal Me In 2018 – Week 11)

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” Oh, my Lord!” cried Marjorie in desperation. “You little nut! Girls like you are responsible for all the tiresome colorless marriages; all those ghastly inefficiencies that pass as feminine qualities. What a blow it must be when a man with imagination marries the beautiful bundle of clothes that he’s been building ideals round, and finds that she’s just a weak, whining, cowardly mass of affectations!”

It’s the Queen of Clubs for Week 11 of Deal Me In 2018, it’s St. Patrick’s Day and the Deal Me In fates deal me two coincidences with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “Bernice Bobs Her Hair”: 1) one of the more famous American authors with Irish heritage and 2) the second story in a row from a favorite author. Last week, I read a story by Fitzgerald’s colleague and friend, Ernest Hemingway (I might be using the term “friend” rather loosely).


In this story, Fitzgerald presents the social norms of the teenage scene during his day in great detail with characters who take them very seriously. Buried deep down in this story, though, the reader understands that these norms are charades with a more sinister affect on the characters and their society.

As sinister as they might be, Fitzgerald writes about them with a wit that makes the story a true gem. But the most enjoyable part is the plain old-fashioned plot. The trap is set, the dare is given, the dare is accepted, the dare is regretted – and then?  The glorious revenge!

This story is included in my copy of The Short Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald: A New Collection edited by Matthew J. Bruccoli. My Deal Me In List can be found here. Deal Me In is hosted by Jay at Bibliophilopolis.


5 thoughts on “F. Scott Fitzgerald: Bernice Bobs Her Hair (Deal Me In 2018 – Week 11)

  1. What a great quotation you share at the top! It reminded me a little of a line from one of my short story hall of fame teales, “Parthenope” by Rebecca West: “They married my sisters because they were beautiful, and laughed easily, and could not understand figures. They might have considered that women who laugh easily might scream easily, and that, if figures meant nothing to them, words might mean nothing either, and that, if figures and words meant nothing to them, thoughts and feelings might mean nothing too.“

    1. That’s a great quotation, too, Jay! I enjoyed this story a lot. As Short Story Magic Tricks points out, Fitzgerald both celebrates and criticizes the lifestyles he portrays in his stories, especially this one.

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