Bernice Bobs Her Hair:
An Introduction

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"Bernice Bobs Her Hair" was Fitzgerald's fourth Saturday Evening Post story (1 May 1920) and provided the subject for the dust-jacket illustration when it was collected in Flappers and Philosophers. It occupies an important position in the Fitzgerald canon as a witty early treatment of a characteristic subject that he would later examine more seriously: the competition for social success and the determination with which his characters-- especially the young women--engage in it. The story was based on a detailed memo Fitzgerald wrote to his younger sister, Annabel, advising her how to achieve popularity with boys: "Cultivate deliberate physical grace." (See the complete letter in Correspondence of F. Scott Fitzgerald, pp 15-18.) Fitzgerald had some difficulty bringing "Bernice" to salable form; he cut some three thousand words and rewrote to "inject a snappy climax. "
The text of Bernice Bobs Her Hair.

Fitzgerald Centenary Comments

This page updated 22 July 1996.
Copyright 1996, the Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina.

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