The metaphor at the beginning of the "But, after all, this critical circle is not close enough to the stage to see the actors' faces and catch the subtler byplay" that from a distance one cannot properly judge the kids. By comparing the youth to actors explains that the people are playing a role inorder to project an image to others.
The girls act the whole time trying to reflect an image of something they are not. Margarie who appears to be perfect from the outside, has her act down to a tee. Everything is thought out from what she says, to what she wears, is thought out.
Bernice decides to confront Marjorie in the kitchen the morning after hearing her lash out about her to her mother. The reader has insight to how shocked Marjorie will be after realizing she is caught when Fitzgerald sets up the scene with "Bernice paused before she threw her hand-grenade". Marjorie is trapped and Bernice's words are like a bomb exploding in the air shattering the silence. "Marjorie never giggled, was never frightened, seldom embarrassed" (Fitzgerald 4) and was now not about to admit she was wrong in how she spoke of her cousin. Marjorie is able to remain composed showing accentuating the proficiency of her acting ability. "Marjorie was startled, but she showed only a faintly heightened color" (Fitzgerald 6) not giving Bernice the satisfaction she came in seeking. Bernice uses this information as a weapon against Marjorie hoping to evoke sympathy and pity from her cousin. This same poise and control is not shown by Bernice whose "lower lip was trembling violently". Bernice does not know how to act and this shows by how obviously hurt and affected she was by her cousin's words. Bernice continues on by saying "I guess I'd beer go back to Eau Claireif I'm such a nuisance". By pausing before saying she is a nuisance gives Marjorie an opportunity to apologize or reject Bernice's statement as false. All hope is crushed by Marjorie's harsh silence signaling that everything she said last night is true and she will continue to stand by, Bernice loses this battle and now is faced with how to deal.
Marjore agrees to train Bernice, a sympathy case, transforming her into a carbon copy of herself. Marjorie opened Bernice's eyes to a new world that can only be seen from up close. Unless you are involved in the critical circle and understand how it works it is invisible. Marjorie unlocked the door and let Bernice in to a place where only a select few could go. She is trained by the best with the scripts already written by a true professional. She teaches her how to dress, act, and appear to others. She explains the strategy of seduction and the proper moves that must be made. It is all a similar to a game of chess. Every thing that comes out of your mouth has a purpose to get you to your goal."you've got learn to be nice to men who are sad birds" (Fitzgerald 10) because "No girl can afford to neglect them". None of her intentions towards the other boys are genuine at all but by acting interested her status can be maintained. By dancing with the less popular boys Marjorie points out that her status is highered.
"all through the bridge party Bernice strove in vain to master rising uneasiness. She had offended Marjorie the sphinx of sphinxes" (Fitzgerald 15). "In Greek mythology, the sphinx was a winged creature with a lion's body and a woman's head. It strangled all who could not answer its riddle, but killed itself when Oedipus answered correctly" (http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_1861711634/sphinx.html). By comparing Marjorie to a sphinx Fitzgerald compares Bernice as Oedipus. Who had finally uncovered her secret that would cause her to destruct. Marjorie acts as though nothing can affect her through...