Bernice Bobs Her Hair

by

F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Marjorie Harvey Character Analysis

Bernice’s cousin and Mrs. Harvey’s daughter. Presented as a foil to Bernice, Marjorie Harvey is shallow, witty, charming, fashionable, and unscrupulous. Ever seeking the spotlight, she takes pleasure in stringing along Warren McIntyre, her longtime friend and a very attractive prospect, for the conspicuous popularity it gives her. She rejects the traditional brand of femininity that her mother and Bernice represent in favor of a modern model that permits more freedom and boldness of expression. Marjorie clearly values the skill, intelligence, and willpower that a young woman needs to assert her agency in a male-dominated society—but where she herself excels in all of these qualities, she lacks kindness, integrity, and guiding principles. She views popularity as a goal unto itself, and she doesn’t seem to enjoy the fruits of her social conquests beyond the prestige they offer. Marjorie is quite willing to manipulate someone, or betray them, to achieve her ends. She does this in different ways to both Warren and Bernice—yet this eventually leads to her downfall at Bernice’s hands when Bernice snips off Marjorie’s braids.

Marjorie Harvey Quotes in Bernice Bobs Her Hair

The Bernice Bobs Her Hair quotes below are all either spoken by Marjorie Harvey or refer to Marjorie Harvey. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Scribner edition of Bernice Bobs Her Hair published in 1995.
Part 1 Quotes

The main function of the balcony was critical. It occasionally showed grudging admiration, but never approval, for it is well known among ladies over thirty-five that when the younger set dance in the summer-time it is with the very worst intentions in the world, and if they are not bombarded with stony eyes stray couples will dance weird barbaric interludes in the corners, and the more popular, more dangerous girls will sometimes be kissed in the parked limousines of unsuspecting dowagers.

Related Characters: Warren McIntyre , Marjorie Harvey
Page Number: 25-26
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2 Quotes

Marjorie never giggled, was never frightened, seldom embarrassed, and in fact had very few of the qualities which Bernice considered appropriately and blessedly feminine.

Related Characters: Marjorie Harvey, Bernice
Page Number: 29
Explanation and Analysis:

“Sarah Hopkins refers to Genevieve and Roberta and me as gardenia girls! I'll bet she'd give ten years of her life and her European education to be a gardenia girl and have three or four men in love with her and be cut in on every few feet at dances.”

Related Characters: Marjorie Harvey (speaker), Bernice, Mrs. Harvey / Aunt Josephine
Page Number: 31
Explanation and Analysis:

“I think it’s that crazy Indian blood in Bernice,” continued Marjorie. “Maybe she’s a reversion to type. Indian women all just sat round and never said anything.”

Related Characters: Marjorie Harvey (speaker), Bernice, Mrs. Harvey / Aunt Josephine
Page Number: 31
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 3 Quotes

“Girls like you are responsible for all the tiresome colorless marriages; all those ghastly inefficiencies that pass as feminine qualities. What a blow it must be when a man with imagination marries the beautiful bundle of clothes that he's been building ideals round, and finds that she's just a weak, whining, cowardly mass of affectations!”

Related Characters: Marjorie Harvey (speaker), Bernice
Page Number: 34
Explanation and Analysis:

“I hate dainty minds […] But a girl has to be dainty in person. If she looks like a million dollars she can talk about Russia, ping-pong, or the League of Nations and get away with it.”

Related Characters: Marjorie Harvey (speaker), Bernice
Page Number: 35
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 4 Quotes

But a few minutes before she fell asleep a rebellious thought was churning drowsily in her brain—after all, it was she who had done it. Marjorie, to be sure, had given her her conversation, but then Marjorie got much of her conversation out of things she read. Bernice had bought the red dress, though she had never valued it highly before Marjorie dug it out of her trunk—and her own voice had said the words, her own lips had smiled, her own feet had danced.

Related Characters: Bernice, Marjorie Harvey
Page Number: 39
Explanation and Analysis:
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Marjorie Harvey Character Timeline in Bernice Bobs Her Hair

The timeline below shows where the character Marjorie Harvey appears in Bernice Bobs Her Hair. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1
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Youth and Generational Difference Theme Icon
Warren’s thoughts come to rest on his longtime childhood friend, Marjorie Harvey, whose “fairylike face” and “dazzling, bewildering tongue” had long won the crowd’s admiration and... (full context)
Part 2
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...and readies herself for bed, Bernice thinks on the disappointments that her summer visits with Marjorie bring. For one, Marjorie seems wholly uninterested in female companionship; she “considered girls stupid,” and... (full context)
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...from her aunt’s room. Not intending to eavesdrop, she lingers outside and overhears the conversation. Marjorie is complaining to her mother that Bernice is “absolutely hopeless” socially, and that no amount... (full context)
Part 3
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At breakfast the next morning, Bernice confronts Marjorie about what she said to Mrs. Harvey the night before. On the verge of tears,... (full context)
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Far from responding with pity, Marjorie says that she “wasn’t trying to be nice” when she criticized Bernice, then bluntly asks... (full context)
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The girls’ conversation continues some time later, as Bernice returns, red-eyed. When Marjorie refuses to respond with any kind of sympathy, Bernice prompts her with the comment, “I... (full context)
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After spending still more time away in thought, Bernice returns to Marjorie with a proposition. Conceding that Marjorie might be right, she agrees to give Marjorie’s ideas... (full context)
Part 4
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...picks out a decidedly lackluster boy on whom she can try out several lines that Marjorie scripted for her. At dinner, she asks him whether she should get a haircut, as... (full context)
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After the dance, Bernice showers Marjorie in gratitude, and voices the concern that she eventually ran out of material. Marjorie dismisses... (full context)
Part 5
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...is the attention of “the hypercritical Warren McIntyre,” who seems to have lost interest in Marjorie in favor of someone more accessible. Though his motives remain unclear, his intentions are unmistakable:... (full context)
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Later that day, at a party, Marjorie remarks to those present that Bernice is merely bluffing about her hair. The other teenagers... (full context)
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As she settles into the barber’s chair, it is the sight of Marjorie’s goading smile that gives Bernice the determination to commit to the haircut. There is a... (full context)
Part 6
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...her bobbed hair will offend Mrs. Deyo, who is holding a dance for Bernice and Marjorie before the former’s departure. Mrs. Deyo detests bobbed hair so much that she “devoted fifteen... (full context)
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Smugly and insincerely, Marjorie insists that the haircut looks fine—but after the girls bid each other good night, “something... (full context)
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...worn in the barber’s chair—somehow a development of it.” With set determination, she stealthily enters Marjorie’s bedroom. Making no sound, taking care not to wake Marjorie by her touch, she snips... (full context)