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February 1, 2005

Bernice: Bob, bob berrang!

So what's the big deal if Bernice Bobs Her Hair? Geez, it's just hair...

It is a big deal. For those of us that have had long hair, it's almost like losing a limb. In my case, I really liked my long hair and so did a whole lot of other people, I guess. In my family, it was most nearly a sacred object... But I did cut it.

I didn't bob my hair. And when I say my hair is short, I mean it in a relative sense. Compared to the previous lengths of my hair, it's short. The major change of a single snip can alter not only your appearance, but you life... Bernice's life sure did spin.

In comparison of the movie to the short story there are, as should be expected, some differences.

In the story, Bernice has dark hair and Marjorie has blonde hair. This is opposite in the film. Additionally, in the story it's said that Bernice is pretty, when in the movie she isn't exactly pretty. She's more homely and plain; nor is she popular in the movie, but Marjorie mentions (Part II, lines 4, 7) that Bernice has good features, and she even sounds a bit jealous.

The opening scene in the movie shows Marjorie pinning a gardenia to her blouse. It was a gift (from whom, I don't recall... Warren perhaps?), and she decides not to wear it. However in Part II line 10, Marjorie verbally condemns "Gardenia Girls" (i.e. pin-up girls --that's the best definition I can find from a bit of google research *eek*). Interesting switch of morality, Marjorie.

Several other differences are evident:

Can I just say that seeing the phone written " 'phone" is cute? Who puts the appostrophe there anymore? Telephone, phone... same difference.

Instead of a picnic as the dreadful set for the pressure for Bernice to follow through with her plan to bob her hair, it's a bridge party, Part V line 20 (necessary switch for interest in the movie?).

In the story there are a lot more people paying notice to Bernice's announcement of bobbing her hair in the barber shop, Part V line 60-64.

Bernice flings the braids onto Warren's porch instead of laying them in the car.

References to Native American women doing nothing all day (Part II line 18) and Bernice's final line "scalp the selfish thing" are racial slurs found within the text, and, from my recollection, are not present in the movie.

I'm sure there are more...
Anyone else?

Posted by KarissaKilgore at February 1, 2005 5:59 PM


I agree with the hair thing: it -is- a big deal! My hair is pretty long these days and I've been contemplating cutting it shorter. However, everytime I remember how long it took for me to grow it this long, I shudder and reconsider. I imagine my hair will reach, oh, the floor before I make up my mind one way or the other.

Posted by: moira at February 2, 2005 9:33 AM

Well, Moira, you know what they say, "Hair today, gone tomorrow..." (Okay, corny pun...) Anyway, I'll bet it took Bernice about all her life to grow her hair as long as it was.

You know what? That's something that isn't mentioned in the story--the measurements of her hair. Of course that wouldn't seem like a big deal to Fitzgerald--a woman's hair can sometimes be her pride, as vain as that may sound. Hm. The only indication that Bernice's hair is long in the story is in Part V line 62. Wow.

Posted by: Karissa at February 2, 2005 5:30 PM

When i was born, i had hair to my ears, and my mom never cut it, she would occassionally trim, but my lengthy locks didn't get shorter until i was nine years old. I was able to sit on my hair, i remember it, and then i got it cut short, and in high school it was longer, middle of my back ish, but three days after i graduated i got it cut a lil shorter than it is now. To me, long hair made me look to little girly, and plus since im so short, i thought it was odd, i love my short hair. YAY:)

Posted by: Lori at February 2, 2005 6:00 PM

Wow, Lori, that's almost a long a hair story as mine! Haha...

Posted by: Karissa at February 2, 2005 6:57 PM

When I saw this movie, a few years ago, all I could think about was The Shining, and Bernice bobbing her hair in an elevator full of blood. Eh? eh?

Posted by: Mike at February 3, 2005 8:42 AM

Yeah Karissa, never thought i had long hair did ya? haha...well Mike, i guess anythings possible really, but thats just...messy...haha..

Posted by: Lori at February 3, 2005 9:09 AM

I know I haven't commented in a while, but I must ask: what does "Bob, bob berrang" mean?

Posted by: Donna at February 3, 2005 9:31 AM

Haha, all of you make me laugh... (This is supposed to be an academic posting! Ahh!)

Donna, "bob bob berrang" is how I interpret the oldies song "Barbara Ann." You know, "Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, Bob, berrang..." I think it was the Beach Boys. Yeah, that's just me interpreting the lyrics, though :-)

Posted by: Karissa at February 3, 2005 11:27 AM

Aha! I can see where "Bar Barbarann" could sound like "Bob bob berrang." I wonder if it's one of those commonly misinterpreted lyrics; some of those can be funny.

And I apologize for turning your academic post into a discussion of the Beach Boys :-)

Posted by: Donna at February 3, 2005 11:36 AM

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