The sub-deb: A theme written and submitted in literature class by Barbara Putnam Archibald, 1917.
Definition of A theme:
A theme is a piece of writing, either true or made up by the author, and consisting of Introduction, Body and Conclusion. It should contain Unity, Coherence, Emphasis, Perspecuity, Vivacity, and Presision. It may be ornamented with dialogue, discription and choice quotations.
Subject of theme:
An interesting Incident of My Christmas Holadays.
“A tyrant’s power in rigor is exprest.”—Dryden.
I have decided to relate with Presision what occurred during my recent Christmas holaday. Although I was away from this school only four days, returning unexpectedly the day after Christmas, a number of Incidents occurred which I believe I should narate.
It is only just and fair that the Upper House, at least, should know of the injustice of my exile, and that it is all the result of Circumstances over which I had no controll.
For I make this apeal, and with good reason. Is it any fault of mine that my sister Leila is 20 months older than I am? Naturaly, no.
Is it fair also, I ask, that in the best society, a girl is a Sub-Deb the year before she comes out, and although mature in mind, and even maturer in many ways than her older sister, the latter is treated as a young lady, enjoying many privileges, while the former is treated as a mere child, in spite, as I have observed, of only 20 months difference? I wish to place myself on record that it is not fair.
I shall go back, for a short time, to the way things were at home when I was small. I was very strictly raised. With the exception of Tommy Gray, who lives next door and only is about my age, I was never permitted to know any of the Other Sex.
Looking back, I am sure that the present way society is organized is really to blame for everything. I am being frank, and that is the way I feel. I was too strictly raised. I always had a Governess taging along. Until I came here to school I had never walked to the corner of the next street unattended. If it wasn’t Mademoiselle it was mother’s maid, and if it wasn’t either of them, it was mother herself, telling me to hold my toes out and my shoulder blades in. As I have said, I never knew any of the Other Sex, except the miserable little beasts at dancing school. I used to make faces at them when Mademoiselle was putting on my slippers and pulling out my hair bow. They were totaly uninteresting, and I used to put pins in my sash, so that they would get scratched.
Their pumps mostly squeaked, and nobody noticed it, although I have known my parents to dismiss a Butler who creaked at the table.