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Unit 54 – The Disconnect

The following passage is an extract from The Disconnect by Roisin Kiberd

Not long ago in a charity shop on Capel Street, I found an expensive hoodie. Not expensive in terms of its current price – the Goodwill Thrift Shop was asking for €4 – but its original one. The Hoodie bore no outward sign of branding , but its design was strategically luxurious, sewn from the softest cotton and dyed to a muted, achromatic grey. It had been designed to include the kind of thoughtful details you only notice on second-glance, when you realise the person wearing it is a little wealthier than they first appeared.

Second hand shopping is unpredictable. For every useless possibly cursed item gladly donated by its former owner – the monkey’s paw, the dybbuk box, or the shoes that make your ankles bleed – there’s a miracle find, that ludicrous, beautiful thing which has found its way to the charity shop by chance. I might once have laughed at the idea of owning a designer hoodie, but touching its fabric, I felt myself converted. I pulled the zipper, looked inside to read the label, and noticed spidery text across the back on the inside lining: ‘Making the world more open and connected’.

It was a hoodie given to Facebook employees, likely donated to the shop by someone who had recently left the company. If walking around wearing Facebook’s mission statement was an uncomfortable thought, then walking around wearing it secretly, printed inside my clothing, made me feel even more squeamish.

I put the hoodie back on the rail and moved on.

Question 1
Which of the following best appropriates the author’s description of the hoodie?

A) Overly desirous in appearance
B) Made to look normal but constructed of the finest materials
C) Outwardly beautiful but shabby in construction
D) Clearly something a wealthy person would wear

Question 2
What is a Dybbuk box, according to the author?

A) It is not stated or described explicitly
B) A cursed item
C) Footwear that makes your ankles bleed
D) An old wine box haunted by a possessive spirit

Question 3
Based on their reaction to the hoodie, what might be the author’s outlook on Facebook?

A) She loves Facebook secretly but doesn’t want to be associated with the brand
B) She used to work for Facebook but no longer identifies with the brand
C) Facebook produces cheap, poor-quality products
D) She would be embarrassed to be associated with Facebook

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