eng124(2) - Wehe 1 English 124.019 Prof Kelly Williams...

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Wehe 1 English 124.019 Prof. Kelly Williams Acceptance Throughout life, the issue of acceptance is constantly in play. Whether or not one is “in” or “out” will largely influence one’s ease and comfort in social situations. Literature, a form of art, reflects life and explores the matter of acceptance. If a person has grown comfortable in a certain group, it can be difficult to adapt when the social situation or group dynamics change. In the short story, “Bernice Bobs Her Hair”, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the main character struggles to be accepted by her popular cousin and many male acquaintances. She is not used to being socially unaccepted and the change is difficult, so she tries to fit in better by transforming her character. In slight contrast, the story “The Luck of Roaring Camp” by Bret Harte looks at an all male society and the transformation it goes through when it decides to raise a baby. The narrative explores issues of adaptation and acceptance through the adjustments of the group dynamics. Through both of these stores, a characters ability to be accepted in their social group depends on their capability to adapt from their previous social situation. In “Bernice Bobs Her Hair”, the main character, Bernice, comes from out of town on a “parents arranged visit” (43) to see her cousin Marjorie. However, Bernice finds herself entirely out of her realm of comfort. The first problem is that she doesn’t feel comfortable with Marjorie; their notions of femininity are entirely different. “Marjorie never giggled, was never frightened, seldom embarrassed, and in fact had very few of the qualities which Bernice considered appropriately and blessedly feminine” (43). Bernice wants to become closer to her cousin through giggles, tears and other such emotions,
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Wehe 2 which is what she considers normal feminine interaction. Unfortunately, Marjorie is not the type of girl to explore that part of herself. According the text, “Marjorie had no female intimates-she considered girls stupid” (43), which meant she could never bond with Bernice on that level. The second problem for Bernice is that she is used to being popular, or at the very least socially accepted. Back in her home town she is very comfortable, and while with her cousin, she has not been able to figure out why she finds no such luck. As she is getting ready for bed, she “…busied herself with toothbrush and paste this night and
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eng124(2) - Wehe 1 English 124.019 Prof Kelly Williams...

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