B O O K | F I T Z G E R A L D – B E R N I C E B O B S H E R H A I R*


Book Review - F. Scott Fitzgerald - Flappers & Philosophers - Bernice Bobs Her Hair



Don’t you just love a good looking book? I love a good looking book. This, is a good looking book.

When I saw this in the gift shop at the British Library I had to have it. It wasn’t even until I was on the tube going home that I even looked at what I had bought. It was book lust plain and simple.

Apparently it was Fitzgerald’s collection of short stories entitled Flappers & Philosophers‘.

Without being all ‘literary’ bout it, I’ll tell you why I love this story so much. During school there was always that one girl you thought was out to get you…. Right? And no one else saw it. They thought she was sweet as pie. Like butter wouldn’t melt. She did things to make you feel down and low and everyone thought you were exaggerating. She’d build  you up, only to drag you right back down all the while grinning like the Cheshire cat. Oh yeah, we’ve all been there. Keeping that scenario in mind, let’s look at Bernice Bobs Her Hair. 

This is that classic story of the adolescent  bitch that just wont get off of your case. Admittedly, it’s a little more classy and sophisticated than that. There are countless eligible young bachelors all mooning over a blonde beauty, Marjorie and Bernice is her  dark haired, bushy eyebrowed cousin that’s visiting for a month over the summer. The long and the short is that the much beloved ‘teacher’ takes a student and soon, that student shines too brightly.

But it’s already a short story as it is, only a few pages long, so I wont give you a full synopsis, I’ll jump to the end and just summarise with ‘HA!’. Marjorie sure gets what’s coming to her and I am so ridiculously glad. Revenge is definitely sweet in this one and I mean that in a very literal way. The type of revenge is still quite childish considering it is really a story of a little girls schemes and games. It ends with something you’d do to your little sister if she broke a leg off of your barbie not something a mature ‘young adult’ would resort to. Having said that though, this story stands as a reminder that karma really is a bitch. They always say that you’d better watch the quiet ones and they weren’t telling a lie!

I really urge every teenage girl and young woman to read this as it really should be included in some sort of ‘growing up’ manual. You will always encounter a ‘Marjorie’ somewhere down the line but by reading Fitzgerald’s story, hopefully you’ll be able to see the signs and better prepare for dealing with it. 

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