Hemingway rarely describes a character without mentioning their hair, and thus his descriptions of hair serve as a way of bringing the social world of the book to life in a visceral, vibrant way. Characters’ hair often reflects their personalities: for example, Gertrude Stein has “lovely thick, alive immigrant hair,” while Scott has “very fair wavy hair,” which reflects his charming and rather delicate nature. In the chapter entitled “Secret Pleasures,” Hemingway describes his and Hadley’s mission to grow their hair to the same length and cut it into the same style. They find a surprising amount of delight in this project, which is one of the “secret pleasures” that colors their happy, carefree life together. It is clear that Hemingway and Hadley enjoy rejecting the social conventions of how men and women were supposed to look at the time, and their joint hairstyle is thus an expression of their creative, bohemian attitude to life. At the same time, the hotel keeper in Austria suggests that having long hair is a “revolt” against the legacy of the First World War (which forced young men to have short hair as a result of their service in the military). Although hair may at first seem like a rather superficial topic, in reality it has several serious and important layers of meaning.
Hair Quotes in A Moveable Feast
Ezra Pound was always a good friend and he was always doing things for people. The studio where he lived with his wife Dorothy on the rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs was as poor as Gertrude Stein's studio was rich. It had very good light and was heated by a stove and it had paintings by Japanese artists that Ezra knew. They were all noblemen where they came from and wore their hair cut long. Their hair glistened black and swung forward when they bowed and I was very impressed by them but I did not like their paintings. I did not understand them but they did not have any mystery, and when I understood them they meant nothing to me. I was sorry about this but there was nothing I could do about it.