In the 2006 filmversion of The DevilWearsPrada, MirandaPriestly, played by MerylStreep, scold her unattractiveassistant for imaginingthathighfashiondoesn’t affect her. Priestlyexplains how the deepbluecolor of the assistant’s sweaterdescendedover the yearsfromfashionshows to departmentstores and to the bargain bin in which the poorgirldoubtlessfound her garment.
This top-downconception of the fashionbusinesscouldn’t be more out of date or at oddswithfeverishworlddescribed in Overdressed, ElizabethCline’s three-yearindictment of “fastfashion”. In the lastdecades or so, advances in technologyhaveallowedmass-marketlabelssuch as Zara, H&M, and Uniqlo to react to trendsmorequickly and anticipatedemandmoreprecisely. Quckierturnroundsmeanlesswastedinventory, morefrequentreleases, and moreprofit. Thoselabelsencouragestyle-consciousconsumers to see clothes as disposal—— meant to lastonly a wash or two, althoughthey don’t advertisethat——and to renewtheirwardrobeevery few weeks. By offering on-trenditems at dirt-cheapprices, Clineargues, thesebrandshavehijackedfashioncycles, shaking all industrylongaccustomed to a seasonalpace.
The victims of thisrevolution, of course, are not limited to designers. For H&M to offer a 5.95 knitminiskirt in all its 2300-plusstoresaround the world, it mustrely on low-wage, overseaslabor, order in volumesthatstrainnaturalresources, and use massiveamount of harmfulchemicals.
Overdressed is the fashionworld’s answer to consumeractivistbestsellerslikeMichaelPollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Mass-producedclothing, likefastfood, fills a hunger and need, yet is non-durable, and wasteful,” Clineargues, Americans, she finds, buy roughly 20 billiongarments a year——about 64 items per person——and no matter how muchtheygiveaway, thisexcessleads to waste.
Towards the end of Overdressed, Clineintroduced her ideal, a Brooklynwomannamed SKB, who, since 2008 has make all of her own clothes——and beautifully. But as Cline is the first to note, it tookBeaumontdecades to perfect her craft; her example, can’t be knocked off.
Thoughseveralfast-fashioncompanieshavemadeefforts to curbtheirimpact on labor and the environment——including H&M, with its greenConsciousCollectionLine——Clinebelieveslasting-change can only be effected by the customer. She exhibits the idealismcommon to manyadvocates of sustainability, be it in food or in energy. Vanity is a constant; peoplewillonlystartshoppingmoresustainablywhenthey can’t afford to it.
【題組】25. What is the subject of the text?
(A) Satire on an extravagantlifestyle.
(B) Challenge to a high-fashionmyth.
(C) Criticism of the fast-fashionindustry.
(D) Exposure of a mass-marketsecret.
Perhaps the moststrikingquality of satiricliterature is its freshness, its originality
of perspective. Satirerarelyoffersoriginalideas. Instead it presents the familiar in a new
form. Satirists do not offer the world new philosophies. Whatthey do is look at familiarconditionsfrom a perspectivethatmakestheseconditionsseemfoolish, harmful or
affected. Satirejars us out of complacenceinto a pleasantlyshockedrealizationthatmany of the values we unquestioninglyaccept are false. Don Quixotemakeschivalryseemabsurd. Brave New Worldridicules the pretensions of science. A ModestProposaldramatizesstarvation by advocatingcannibalism. None of theseideas is original.
Chivalry was suspectedbeforeCervantes, humanistsobjected to the claims of puresciencebeforeAldousHuxley and peoplewereaware of faminebeforeSwift. It was not
the originality of the ideathatmadethesesatirespopular. It was the manner of
expression the satiricmethodthatmadetheminteresting and entertainingSatires are
readbecausethey are aestheticallysatisfyingworks of art, not becausethey are morallywholesome or ethicallyinstructive. They are stimulating and refreshingbecausewithcommonsensebrisknesstheybrushawayillusions and secondhandopinions. Withspontaneousirreverence, satirerearrangesperspectives, scramblesfamiliarobjectsintoincongruousjuxtaposition and speaks in a personalidiominstead of abstractplatitude.
Satireexistsbecausethere is a need for it. It has livedbecausereadersappreciate a
refreshingstimulus, an irreverentreminderthattheylived in a world of platitudinousthinking, cheapmoralizing, and foolishphilosophy. Satireserves to prodpeopleinto an
awareness of truth. Satiretends to remindpeoplethatmuch of whatthey see, hear, and
read in popularmedia is sanctimonious, sentimental, and onlypartiallytrue. Liferesembles in only a slightdegree the popularimage of it. Soldiersrarelyhold the idealsthatmoviesattribute to them, nor do ordinarycitizensdevotetheirlives to unselfishservice of community. Intelligentpeopleknowthesethings but tend to forgetthemwhenthey do not hearthemexpressed.
【題組】46. Whatdoesthispassagemainlydiscuss? .
(A) Reasons for the popularity of satire (B) Populartopics of satire (C) New philosophiesemergingfromsatiricliterature (D) Difficulties of writingsatiricliterature
【題組】48. Which of the following can be found in satireliterature? .
(A) Abstractdiscussion of moral and ethnics (B) Odd combinations of objects and ideas (C) Newlyemergingphilosophies (D) Wholesomecharacters who are unselfish
【題組】49. According to thispassage, there is a need for satirebecausepeopleneed to be .
(A) exposed to originalphilosophieswhenthey are formulated (B) remindedthatpopularideas are ofteninaccurate (C) told how they can be of service to theircommunities (D) informedabout new scientificdevelopment