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Of Ocean and Golf

The waves of this ocean, so to speak, were the heads of many curious caddies...and there were usually several stray, diffident waves who might have rolled inside had they so desired.
Fitzgerald, ''Bernice Bobs Her Hair'' (online) -- Jerz: EL150 (Intro to Literary Study)

The idea of comparing people to waves in the ocean was clever. The description helped me to have an idea of what it looked like. It effectively went along with the "show, don't tell" mantra. It is good how Fitzgerald successfully sets the scene before the plot of the story truly begins. It is interesting how he manages to travel seamlessly from talking about how the golf course looks like an ocean with the heads of caddies being the waves to talking about a dance. His sentences just flow so well from one to the other that the travel is almost undetectable--until looking back to the beginning, that is.


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Comments (2)

I'm glad you noticed that detail. I've always thought of this as a very cinematic opening. Movies were still a very young medium when this story was written, and they were of course all silent. So this opening, which shows an exterior view of a large house and then seems to push in for a closer look, resembles an epic crane shot. That kind of opening shot is so commonplace that we don't even think about it, but Fitzgerald does choose theatrical language during this scene, so it seems these words are carefully chosen.

MacKenzie Harbison:

I agree with Jenna as well. I understood the concept of the picture that was painted, but I had to read it twice to put it all together.

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