I. Write an outline. (20 points)
Read the following passage carefully and compose a “sentence outline” for it.
Styles of Dress as Reflections of Social Conditions
Something that becomes very apparent when we study the topic of fashion is that clothes and style are related to so much more than merely an individual’s appearance. For thousands of years, fashion and style have been primary indicators about a person’s social status, sexuality, wealth, individuality, and overall personality attributes.
In the 20th century alone, each decade has been marked by distinctly different manners for dress for both men and women. Our Halloween tradition exemplifies this very clearly with “costumes” such as a 1920’s “flapper girl” and the 1960’s “hippie.” With deeper consideration, however, these differing fashion styles can be viewed as representative of the related social conditions occurring at the time.
As stated by Pasacoe, “The fashion of the 1920’s reflected the Jazz Age perfectly. It was made for fast automobiles and Charlestondance. For the first time in western fashion the knee was socially acceptable.” Although there are many theories regarding what causes fashion to change, the fact that social climate is reflected in styles of dress has a great deal of support. Perhaps the reason why so much change occurred in women’s dress in the early decades of the century is that so many changes occurred regarding women’s roles and fights within that same time frame.
Another decade in which fashion was strongly indicative of the underlying social conditions is the turbulent 1960’s. One of the most noted developments accredited to this decade is the introduction of the miniskirt. Many social historians relate the introduction of the miniskirt to the introduction of the birth control pill. Women became sexually liberated and the “free love” era began. These miniskirts came to symbolize the new liberation for women and the social climate of the decade. As stated in Vogue at the end of the decade, “The length of your skirt is how you feel this moment.”
Towards the end of the 1960's, younger generations were rejecting the establishment and rejecting the idea of high fashion along with it. Students wore long hair, faded denim jeans, and flamboyant patterns. Many wore combat jackets and surplus shirts to anti-war rallies. As Hoeymaker stated, “By the end of the decade, cheap, flamboyant clothes became expensive designer labels. The hippie style became high fashion; in fact ‘anti-fashion’ became the biggest fashion of all.” In this case, clothes became a form of protest.
Overall, there are countless examples of how fashion is influenced by the social climate of the times. Over the past thousands of years, the socially “appropriate” styles of dress for men and women have varied tremendously. Regardless of what exactly constituted“stylish” fashion during any given time period, one thing that remains constant is that fashion has always been a significant aspect of one's life and the time in which they lived.
II. Supply the missing paragraph. (20 points)
The following passage is incomplete with one body paragraph missing. Study the passage carefully and write the missing paragraph in about 100 words. Make sure that your tone and diction are in unity with the passage provided.
Say No to Blind Optimism
“Is the glass half full or half empty?" This question is often asked to determine whether someone is an optimist or a pessimist. In my view, even though we need to see the glass half full, we cannot deny the fact that the glass is also half empty. Having a healthy proportion of expectations makes us more realistic. Blind optimism, however, may foster delusions, result in frustrations and spoil relationships.
We all long for accomplishments, but sometimes we overstress the positive outcome of our effort and waste our time with glorious plans that will never work. We indulge ourselves in delusions and impractical dreams. We fail to see that blind optimism only gives us false promises and clouds our sense of judgment. Ambition without clear directions cannot lead to a victorious experience. We need to understand that wishful thinking and delusions won’t work.
Balanced optimism helps us to develop healthy relationships whereas blind optimism destroys them. One of the reasons for short-lived friendships is that we tend to expect too much of our friends. However, they may not always live up to our expectations. This gives rise to disappointment and misunderstanding. Friendships or relationships consequently turn sour. Some relationships may be seriously affected, with all parties experiencing much pain. A more realistic outlook helps us to understand human limitations, show more consideration for others and prevent excess expectations.
To sum up, blind optimism does more harm than good and should be discarded. Saying no to blind optimism means we can fly but we fly with the safest bet, with the parachute, so that we don’t drop hard. It proves our ability to accept weaknesses and strive for the best. It gives us second options in our lives and alleviates the pains and disappointments that life imposes on us. This holistic attitude, accepting both positive and negative sides, will make us stronger and more mature. After all, a lotus is a beautiful flower that blossoms out of the mud.
IlI. Compose an essay. (60 points)
Some people enjoy playing sports individually while others love to play in groups. Which do you prefer? Write a 300-word expository essay stating your reasons.