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January 25, 2006

1st Blog

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s story, Bernice Bobs Her Hair, reminded me a lot of one of the passages in Foster’s, How To Read Literature Like a Professor. I looked at Bernice's story as a quest.

In Foster's words, "The quest consists of five things:

a) a quester
b) a place to go
c) states reason to go there
d) challenges and trials en route, and
e) a real reason to go there"

I don't know about everybody else, but I connected Bernice's "quest" easily with Foster's theory.

a) a quester - Bernice
b) a place to go - In some scenes, the party, In the last one, whereever she was running off to
c) states reason to go there - Become more popular, outsmart Marjorie
d) challenges and trials en route - Peer pressure, Bitterness from her cousin, Marjorie, insecurities in herself, evesdropping rude comments by her own family, jealousy
e) a real reason to go there - fulfilling her inner need to feel belonging in society

I believe it was Marjorie herself who drove Bernice to go a little crazy at the end of the story. She really pushed Bernice towards the end, and I personally believe Marjorie derserved it. Even though she did not say much to her cousin, her bodily actions got under Bernice's skin, and I don't blame her.

Fitzgerald vividly explains, "Bernice winced as Marjorie tossed her own hair over her shoulders and began to twist it slowly into two long braids until her cream-colored negilee she looked like a delicate painting of some Saxon Princess." (p.19)

I believe the above quote is when Bernice ultimately snapped. She admits later on in the paragraph, "her [Bernice] chance at beauty had been sacraficed to the jealous whim of a selfish girl." (p.19)
It was Marjorie's snooty actions that led Bernice to finally snip Marjorie's precious braids from her head.

Posted by AmandaNichols at January 25, 2006 08:34 PM

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Tracked on February 26, 2006 07:03 PM


I also believe that Marjorie deserved everything that happened to her; she caused Bernice to change and made her crazy. Do you think that Bernice should have stayed with her cousin in the beginning of the story, or are you glad that she went through this 'quest'? I think she was acting foolish and should've realized her cousin is an idiot for thinking beauty is powerful. Marjorie reminds of Paris Hilton, because of her supposed beauty she is famous and famous for being famous. (You get what I am saying.) Plus I hate girls that think being beautiful is the most important thing. (Marjorie)

Posted by: Denamarie Ercolani at January 26, 2006 08:21 PM

Don't you think that's funny, Amanda? It seems that Majorie was predestined to fail due to the fact that she treated Bernice terrible. Bernice had fulfilled her quest in defeating an very big obstacle...Marjorie scorning remarks.

Posted by: KevinHinton at January 26, 2006 08:23 PM

Dena - I definitely think Bernice should have thought for herself from the very beginning. However, it is insecure girls like her that are usually the ones to follow the crowd and stop thinking for themselves.

I'm not sure if I'm glad she went through with this quest. If Fitxgerald had kept the story going, we would have been able to see how Bernice turned out. If it ended with Bernice saying how much she regretted following and acting like Marjorie and making a promise to herself not to ever follow the crowd again, I think the "quest" would have been successful.

On the other hand, however, if Bernice had been scarred after the incident with Marjorie and continued to follow other people's actions, I think the "quest" would have hurt her.

Kevin - Yes, I agree Marjorie was predestined to fail. Girls like her, I believe, always get what they did to others in their past.


Posted by: AmandaNichols at January 26, 2006 08:42 PM

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