January 26, 2004

Is Bobbing only for girls?

Is the style of your haircut a statement?, if so what kind of "bob" are you going to get the next time you're in the saloon or barbershop?

I found the story "Bernice Bobs Her Hair" very interesting. Please excuse the blatancy of my thoughts, but I'm going to try my best to write academically and thoughtfully about it. At first I thought it was going to be one of those Women stories (from EL250) as Paul defined it , but it wasn't. I thought Marjorie was an independnt woman, who was bitter because her heart had been broken so many times. She was inured by this and she became a 'playa' just like the guys, and she's wreaking revenge by breaking other people's heart and toying with the 'fellas'. I think she's a foil of Bernice. Bernice was portrayed as conservative, dull and righteous while Marjorie was 'modern', vivacious and 'cheap but fun'( Warren is a jerk and it's a good thing that Marjorie have him "whipped").

When Bernice followed the advice of Marjorie, I thought that Bernice was going to have a complete 'volte face' of character and value, almost similar to what happen to Brittany Murphy's character 'Tai' in the movie Clueless or the character of Vylette from the movie Jawbreakers. She didn't, but her character developed and matured in the end.

Marjorie is one of the characters you'd love to hate but at the same time feels sorry and pity for. It's ironic how she viewed women as "inane females, [who are] weak, whining, cowardly mass of affectations!" Inside she's probably not as tough as she tried to 'project'. I think she tricked her cousin into getting the haircut because Warren wasn't giving her the attention he used to give her. She appears shallow, and it looks like she's relying on her 'sex-appeal' to get the affections she craved.

My friend said that this story was about women's self-determination and self-liberation, it reminded me of the "Myth of the Bra-Burnings of the 60s" or when Brandi Chastain, the soccer player took off her shirt. or when Christina Aguilera "went black." I asked the question: Why would someone do something "radical" to liberate one's self? The Little Prince suggested:"To go against the norm/standards of a particular society (in Bernice's case the Patriarchal one)."
What do you think?

I loved the ending, it reminded me of Jan (from the Brady Bunch Movie) when she fantasies about cutting Marsha's hair. In a way it's the same but really different. Revenge is sweet.

Posted by Michael Diezmos at January 26, 2004 8:45 PM

I didn't know you had a revenge-loving streak in you!

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at January 27, 2004 5:56 PM

Prof. Jerz,

I think revenge is natural to all.

Posted by: Michael Diezmos at January 27, 2004 6:03 PM

Mike, I loved the fact that you compared parts of the story to different movies throughout the years. That was an incredible stroke of genius. My thoughts on the story weren't nearly as complete. I, like Paul, thought that it was just another story from EL 250, but it couldn't have been because it was written by a guy.

I thought that the struggle between Bernice and Marjorie was more of a sibling rivalry type deal and the stroy made me think of something that had happened when I was a little girl. My brother and myself had gotten into an argument and as punishment for our argument (that involved a few fists thrown on both our parts) our mother sent us to our rooms. I accidently fell asleep and when I woke up, my hair (which at the time was in the middle of my back) had been cut to shreds up to my shoulders. I screamed bloody murder and in the end my brother was sentenced to do all of my chores for a month.


Posted by: Tiffany at January 29, 2004 1:01 PM

I understand that people in theory don't like revenge, but I just perceive it as an expression of being purturbed by some other action done by someone, as well as potentially stemming from displaced anger at something else and an attempt to get this said action to not occur again. No matter how moral we consider ourselves, we all have moments where our reasoning falters, or maybe just follows a different path, when we can no longer tolerate something and we just want the other person to feel as awful as you think they made you feel. That's not the test of morality- that's human nature, but the true test is whether we act, and to what degree, and how we handle it afterwards.

Posted by: the peanut gallery at January 31, 2004 11:46 PM

Good point, Peanut Gal.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at February 11, 2004 2:42 AM
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