3140. How would it have been possible to arrive at the age of thirteen and not be aware of the differences in aesthetic sense as expressed in the choice of furniture and household items? I suppose that up to that point I had not been made aware of it in any dramatic way. If one considered the one area where a child is exposed to the effect of class on taste it would be in observing the clothing worn by one’s classmates.
3141. But the possible clothing choices for thirteen-year-olds
in 1957 was extremely limited. In that time and in that place there was
an absolute tyranny over clothing choices exercised by a uniform sense
of style that was observed by everyone.
The only place you could have found less variation in clothing would
have been in either a parochial school, or a private boy’s academy,
where a dress code was enforced. But in our world the only purpose that
would have been served by the expression of individuality in dress would
have been to subject oneself to ridicule and ostracism for a simple
thing such as rolling the cuffs of jeans to a size other than to three
3143. It was not in the world of the public school where one was first exposed to socially influenced variations in taste. No, rather it was in the houses and apartments of ones extended family where this distinction first crept into one's awareness and there blossomed into the fruit of cultural disdain.