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Fitzgerald Short Stories--Flappers and Philosophers -- Nov. 1

We're waiting to see if the new format is cleaned up by then. Please see the previous thread for sources of the book.
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

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Re: Fitzgerald Short Stories--Flappers and Philosophers / Tales of the Jazz Age

Nov 1 "Bernice Bobs her Hair" in "Flappers and Philosophers"
and "The Offshore Pirate" in "Flappers and Philosophers"


Nov. 8 "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz" in "Tales of the Jazz Age"
and "Winter Dreams" a forerunner to "Gatsby" It appears in another collection,
"All the Sad Young Men," but you can read it here:
http://www.sc.edu/fitzgerald/winterd/index.html


If you haven't found the books of short stories, you can read them here:
http://www.sc.edu/fitzgerald/writings.html This site provides a little background for each story.

or here:
http://www.readbookonline.net/books/Fitzgerald/40/
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

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Re: Fitzgerald Short Stories--Bernice Bobs Her Hair--a little background

[ Edited ]
If you've just joined this group, there's some background on Fitzgerald below. As I'm not a touch typist, I'll leave you to do your own background reading, rather than copying it here.

I see BN has also featured our first book on the right corner of this page. I am honored, truly, as I'm not a regular moderator. There's some excellent background there on the book, author and era.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F._Scott_Fitzgerald

http://www.newsday.com/community/guide/lihistory/ny-history-hs715a,0,7288771.story

http://faculty.pittstate.edu/~knichols/jazzage.html

You can also go back into our 2 previous threads for background on the Jazz Age and WWI. We've already covered "The Great Gatsby," FSF's masterpiece, and "This Side of Paradise," a less-than-great book, but FSF's first successful novel, containing some of his later-developed themes:

1--The distinction between old money, that is, those who inherited money, and the nouveau- riche who made their money in business or by bootlegging (a special kind of business :smileyvery-happy:.) This distinction also played a prime part in "The House of Mirth."

2--The disaffection and disillusionment of young people after WWI, and their rebellion against their parents' Victorian values. A new openness about male-female relationships, the introduction of the flapper, also called "The New Woman,", the revolutionary styles in clothing and women's hair are all part of this.

Message Edited by foxycat on 11-02-2007 01:28 AM
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

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Re: Fitzgerald Short Stories--Bernice Bobs Her Hair

Well, it's really Nov 2 here, but this is the earliest I could get to my computer tonight.

Do you think Marjorie really had Bernice's interest at heart when she tutored her in attracting men?

Do you think Marjorie was really more knowledgeable about men or was she just acting out a script?

How did Marjorie's scheme backfire on her?

Why was cutting your hair such a revolutionary idea for women? What did it signify at that time?

Why did Bernice do it? Why did the haircut turn out so badly?

How did Bernice get her revenge at the end? What caused her to be suddenly so assertive
at the end?
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

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kiakar
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Re: Fitzgerald Short Stories--Bernice Bobs Her Hair

I do not think Marjorie cared one way or the other about Bernice. She didn't like her chore of taking Bernice around and talking boys into dancing with her. I guess she figured it would be less trouble for her if she made Bernice more likable to the boys. Marjorie seemed aloof to any real feelings for anyone. She might have been intelligent in knowing how to attract male attention but she was very vain and callous. Bernice being vain herself about her richness and the knowledge of her attractness didn't seem to have a clue how to intice the male set. Hadn't she partied at home, being eighteen, she talked about parties and such. Maybe the set of the crowd at Bernice's neigborhood wasn't the same as Marjorie's. Did she enfluenced the boys into treating Bernice like a bore? With a pretty rich girl in the mist, I can't see that she should have been that boring. But whatever, Marjorie fixes that for her by giving her a great play of words.

Did Marjorie know how to intice men? I would say yes, she did. It seemed quite alot of the guys were very fond of her. They seemed to savvar every word she uttered and would do anything for her. Maybe she latched on to it naturally or maybe she did look at books and such but she seemed a genius in how to conversate and keep a man interested.
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kiakar
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Re: Fitzgerald Short Stories--Bernice Bobs Her Hair

Of course Marjorie didn't want Bernice to win her favorite admirerar, Warren. She had Bernice off on her own and she liked that but when a friend mentioned that Bernice was making plays for Warren, she secretly sought out vengence for Bernice. Her callousness came in to play, not that she really cared about Warren, I do believe, but he was her most geniune admirer and she couldn't take him falling for Bernice.

The haircutting thing back then, was somewhat brand-new. It was alot written about the first haircut and all about the Bob. It seemed careless and lazy girls got the reputation from cutting their hair earlier in this decade. Hair was still a women's pride and joy. She was not well liked when she did this, it seemed to make her stand out in a less than positive way. This started out done in Barber shops where Barbers didn't have the knowledge or the know how in cutting ladies hair.
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kiakar
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Re: Fitzgerald Short Stories--Bernice Bobs Her Hair

I feel that Bernice saw that Marjorie was getting the advantage of her by making her friends second guess her. She wanted a way to fight back and probably was just looking for a miracle. She didn't really want to go through with this hair cutting ritual but didn't know how to stop it. So she was hoping for a miracle or hoping maybe Warren and some of the others liked her for her and not to do with her haircut. I really had to feel sorry for Bernice when this happened. I could feel her pain, her embarrassment. And then when Marjorie asked Warren to go with her in a puff and he went, oh! I could really feel her pain. After she had exposed herself in front of all of them the way she did, Oh the agnony!
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kiakar
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Re: Fitzgerald Short Stories--Bernice Bobs Her Hair



foxycat wrote:
Well, it's really Nov 2 here, but this is the earliest I could get to my computer tonight.

Do you think Marjorie really had Bernice's interest at heart when she tutored her in attracting men?

Do you think Marjorie was really more knowledgeable about men or was she just acting out a script?

How did Marjorie's scheme backfire on her?

Why was cutting your hair such a revolutionary idea for women? What did it signify at that time?

Why did Bernice do it? Why did the haircut turn out so badly?

How did Bernice get her revenge at the end? What caused her to be suddenly so assertive
at the end?




I think the haircut turned out badly because of the reaction of the crowd that was with her. And you could blame the unexpierence of the barber that wacked it off. But still, maybe Bernice lost some of her luster in what she was doing, or maybe the reality of what she done, shone through and meandered to the others the lack of confidence in what she had done. And so they reacted to all of this the way Bernice felt about herself. I think Bernice tried to come through as loving it and admiring it. Even asking others if they liked it, but she really didn't have the stamina to pull it off.
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kiakar
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Re: Fitzgerald Short Stories--Bernice Bobs Her Hair

Wow! did I love the ending. Maybe I shouldn't reveal it now. I gather others are still reading this. But oh! I simply felt like dancing at the end. I should be so ashamed! ha.
But to me Marjorie deserved it.She was spiteful and abnoxious to Bernice over pettiness.
How I would have loved to see Marjorie's face when she woke up that morning. hehehe.
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kiakar
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Re: Fitzgerald Short Stories--Bernice Bobs Her Hair--a little background

I haven't read the second short story yet but enjoyed this one. It was cute and funny.
And also pathetic and sad. All in all, I liked it alot.
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Re: Fitzgerald Short Stories--Bernice Bobs Her Hair

There's been no one else here, and I was ready to abandon the thread tonight. Competing with pedsphleb's group is difficult

Marjorie just acts out a script, and men fall all over her. It's what men have for years called a "line." Just a silly series of questions and comments, always the same, that attract silly guys. That's what she teaches Bernice, and it works just as well. But it's not real interest in the guy as a human being. It's flirting, but it works until something more substantial replaces it. She doesn't really care about Bernice either, as you said. She's too vain and selfish to really care about anyone. But she does feel shameful at the end, when it's too late.

You and I already know why cutting one's hair was so revolutionary, so not going to repeat that, unless someone else joins. But Bernice did it only because M challenged her, not thinking B would really do it. Everyone knows it's awful, because the barber is inexperienced with women.

Bernice hates the haircut at the end, but it empowers her to be more assertive. It's as if the short hair carries the power of the liberated woman to her. She stops being the victim of a cruel joke and becomes her own person. We last see her striding down the street with a big smile on her face. I don't think she's going to let it grow again.
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

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Re: Fitzgerald Short Stories--The Offshore Pirate

Here's an intro and the next story. Will give you a few days to catch up. Don't worry about the schedule.
http://www.sc.edu/fitzgerald/pirate/index.html
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

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kiakar
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Re: Fitzgerald Short Stories--Bernice Bobs Her Hair



foxycat wrote:
There's been no one else here, and I was ready to abandon the thread tonight. Competing with pedsphleb's group is difficult

Marjorie just acts out a script, and men fall all over her. It's what men have for years called a "line." Just a silly series of questions and comments, always the same, that attract silly guys. That's what she teaches Bernice, and it works just as well. But it's not real interest in the guy as a human being. It's flirting, but it works until something more substantial replaces it. She doesn't really care about Bernice either, as you said. She's too vain and selfish to really care about anyone. But she does feel shameful at the end, when it's too late.

You and I already know why cutting one's hair was so revolutionary, so not going to repeat that, unless someone else joins. But Bernice did it only because M challenged her, not thinking B would really do it. Everyone knows it's awful, because the barber is inexperienced with women.

Bernice hates the haircut at the end, but it empowers her to be more assertive. It's as if the short hair carries the power of the liberated woman to her. She stops being the victim of a cruel joke and becomes her own person. We last see her striding down the street with a big smile on her face. I don't think she's going to let it grow again.




But don't you wonder what Marjorie did about hers? I bet she didn't adjust so good, probably had to get a wig. ha.
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kiakar
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Re: Fitzgerald Short Stories--The Offshore Pirate



foxycat wrote:
Here's an intro and the next story. Will give you a few days to catch up. Don't worry about the schedule.
http://www.sc.edu/fitzgerald/pirate/index.html




I am going to read this in the next few days and comment. I wonder where everybody went? Oh well, I love his short stories. I probably will read some more of them. Thanks for getting me in touch with the site to read on line. Saves some money for other books.
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Re: Fitzgerald Short Stories--The Offshore Pirate

Gluepot is in other groups, and Leo and Kathy are not currently active. You can tell by clicking on someone's name and seeing their most recent posts.
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

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Re: Fitzgerald Short Stories--Bernice Bobs Her Hair

I hadn't thought about Marjorie's hair. I can see her screaming and wailing the next day, and yes, maybe buying a wig. It takes years to grow your hair that long. By then, everyone would have short hair.

I'm at "Wide Sargasso Sea." Take your time reading the next story.
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

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kiakar
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Re: Fitzgerald Short Stories--Bernice Bobs Her Hair



foxycat wrote:
I hadn't thought about Marjorie's hair. I can see her screaming and wailing the next day, and yes, maybe buying a wig. It takes years to grow your hair that long. By then, everyone would have short hair.

I'm at "Wide Sargasso Sea." Take your time reading the next story.




Oh! yes! I know she did send a few yells blasting the neighborhood, which the neighbors thought she had been assaulted. And I guess she had, by Bernice. Good for her! I havent read the other one yet. Will get to it before the end of November. Its short and we can say a few words on it later. Have fun with Sargasso Sea. I didn't attempt that one, too much like the Bronte's novels. And I do not particarly like them. I am not into dark novels, not much of the time.
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Re: Fitzgerald Short Stories--The Offshore Pirate 1920

[ Edited ]
Error

Message Edited by foxycat on 11-24-2007 01:48 PM
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

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Re: Fitzgerald Short Stories--The Offshore Pirate 1920

[ Edited ]
This was written 5 years before Gatsby, and around the same time as This Side of Paradise. It appeared in The Saturday evening Post in 1920. I printed it from the link I provided, which is easier than reading 22 pages on the screen.

What themes do you see here that also appear in our precious readings, Gatsby and This Side of Paradise?

How is Curtis (Toby in disguise) similar to Gatsby?

How does Ardita typify the New Woman, the flapper? Does she remind you of anyone in our previous readings?

Were you surprised at the ending? Was Ardita's reaction realistic? What other reaction might she have had?

Message Edited by foxycat on 11-24-2007 01:49 PM
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

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Re: Oops--a typo!

In the previous thread, the word should be "previous," not "precious." :smileyvery-happy:
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. --Oscar Wilde

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