An Introduction to Satire Essay Sample

A literary work in which human frailty or folly is attacked through sarcasm. derision. or humor. Irony. irony. or acerb [ bitterly cutting/burning ] humor used to assail or expose folly. frailty. or stupidity. ( dictionary. com )

Ian Johnston. retired teacher at Malaspina University-College. Nanaimo. British Columbia. Canada. offers helpful information in more clearly specifying the usage and features of sarcasm: Purpose of Satire: “If we see person or some group moving in a manner we think is morally unacceptable and we wish to rectify such behaviors. we have a figure of options. We can seek to coerce them to alter their ways ( through menaces of penalty ) ; we can present austere moral talks. seeking to carry them to alter their ways ; we can seek the Socratic attack of prosecuting them in a conversation which probes the roots of their beliefs ; or. instead. we can promote everyone to see them as pathetic. to laugh at them. to render them objects of contempt for he group. In making so we will likely hold at least two intents in head: foremost. to consequence some alterations in the behavior of the mark ( so that he or she reforms ) and. 2nd. to promote others non to act in such a mode. ”

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Morality of Satire: “At the footing of every good traditional sarcasm is a sense of moral indignation or outrage: This behavior is incorrect and demands to be exposed. Hence. to follow a satiric stance requires a sense of what is right. since the mark of the sarcasm can merely be measured as deficient if one has a sense of what is necessary for a individual to be genuinely moral. ” Complications of Satire: “One cardinal challenge to the ironist is to be elusive and varied plenty to maintain the reader interested in the humor of the piece. while at the same clip doing it clear ( but non obvious ) that there is a satiric purpose. . . . Since most sarcasms depend upon a certain consciousness in the reader ( consciousness of events. of literary theoretical accounts being satirized. of sarcasm working in the linguistic communication ) . adept sarcasms tend to necessitate a certain edification in the readers or viewing audiences. A individual insensitive to degrees of sarcasm in linguistic communication will usually happen sarcasms hard to follow ( unless the sarcasm is really obvious ) . ”

( hypertext transfer protocol: //www. mala. bc. ca/~johnstoi/Eng200/satire3. htm )

Features of Satire
1. irony 2. paradox 3. antithesis 4. colloquialism 5. anticlimax 6. lewdness 7. force 8. color 9. hyperbole

The indispensable attitude in sarcasm is the desire to utilize exactly clear linguistic communication to still an audience to protest. The satirist intends to depict painful or absurd state of affairss or foolish or wicked individuals or groups every bit vividly as possible. He believes that most people are unsighted. insensitive. and possibly anesthetized by usage and surrender and obtuseness. The ironist wishes to do them see the truth – at least that portion of the truth which they habitually ignore. Sarcasm: ( beginning: Matthew Hodgart’s Satire. Gilbert Highet’s The Anatomy of Satire. and Northrop Frye’s Anatomy of Criticism. )

Sarcasm is set apart organize other literature by its reasonably limited scope of techniques. The kernel of sarcasm is wit. the power of giving pleasance by uniting or contrasting thoughts. Wit was originally defined as “mind. ” so as “cleverness. ” but now suggests the speech/writing that delectations by its surprisingness.

Techniques of Satire
the debasement or devaluation of a victim by cut downing his stature or self-respect ; belitting a alteration in size remotion of marks of rank and position ( normally apparels ) animate being imagination which reduces man’s purposeful actions. the ambitious purposes of which he is proud and the lecherousnesss of which he is ashamed. all to the degree of beastly inherent aptitude. vegetable or mineral imagination imitation or lampoon devastation of the symbol ( a ironist who wants to demo that an emblem is being used for unfair terminals pretends non to understand its symbolic intensions ; for illustration. the flag becomes merely a piece of fabric. The individual fails to see the symbolic values which society attaches to seemingly fiddling objects and actions. )

The general thought of sarcasm is to cut down everything to simple footings: the entreaty is ever to common sense. field ground. simple logic.

Invective unfastened abuse. used on occasion for daze consequence. Harmonizing to Johnston. “It is the least imaginative of the satirist’s tools. A drawn-out vituperation is sometimes called a fulmination. The danger of pure vituperation is that one can rapidly acquire tired of it. since it offers limited chance for imaginative humor. ”

Irony Caricature systematic usage of dual significance ; significance of words is opposite of the actual or expected significance “refers to the technique of overstating for amusing and satiric consequence one peculiar characteristic of the mark. to accomplish a grotesque or pathetic consequence. The term imitation by and large refers more to pulling than it does to compose ( e. g. . the political sketch ) . Almost all sarcasm relies to some extent on the deformation of imitation. In that sense. sarcasm is non concerned with psychological verisimilitude. ” – Johnston “refers to pathetic hyperbole in linguistic communication. normally one which makes the disagreement between the words and the state of affairs or the character silly. For illustration. to hold a male monarch speak like an imbecile or a workman speak like a male monarch ( particularly. state. in clean poetry ) is burlesque. Similarly. a really serious state of affairs can be burlesqued by holding the characters in it speak or act in laughably inappropriate ways. ” – Johnston “is a popular satiric technique ( particularly in Swift ) . whereby the writer agrees enthusiastically with the basic attitudes or premises he wishes to satirise and. by forcing them to a logically pathetic extreme. exposes the folly of the original attitudes and premises. Reductio ad absurdums are sometimes unsafe either because the reader does non acknowledge the sarcasm at work or because the reader fails to place the mark clearly. ”


Reductio ad absurdum

Jonathan Swift wrote. “Satire is a kind of glass. wherein perceivers do by and large detect everybody’s face but their ain ; which is the main ground for that sort of response it meets in the universe. and that so really few are offended with it. ” ( Columbia World of Quotations. hypertext transfer protocol: //www. bartleby. com/66/93/56793. hypertext markup language )

Structure of Sarcasm: Three Main “Shapes”
Monologue Parody
The ironist normally is talking from behind a thinly veiled mask. He states his position of a job. cites illustrations. and enterprises to enforce his positions on the reader/listener. The ironist takes an bing work of literature that was created with a serious intent. or a literary signifier in which some reputable books and verse forms have been written. He so makes the work look pathetic by inculcating it with incongruous thoughts ; he makes the thoughts look foolish by seting them into an inappropriate signifier. Here the writer does non look. ( Fiction speaks for him/her. )


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