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Elements of Satire

Understanding definition and characteristics of satirical writing.

Glenda McQueen

on 14 December 2016

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Transcript of Elements of Satire

What is Satire?
What techniques do authors use to produce satire?
As you study satire, you come to realize that using humor to attack a subject is much more effective than preaching about what is wrong!
Understanding Satire
Satire is a literary genre in which human or individual vices, abuses, follies, or shortcomings are commented on and usually criticized.
Satirical writing is usually funny, but its purpose is not primarily humor so much as an attack on something with which the author strongly disapproves.
Satire makes fun of a topic by making is seem ridiculous.
is the Latin verb which means "to laugh."
Reversal is when normal rules or order are reversed. This could include the roles people play or even a play on words.
Parody is a humorous and exaggerated imitation.
An incongruity is something that seems out of place or out of character- almost to the point of being absurd.
Exaggeration is giving an impression that something is greater or larger than it really is.
Consider how these following cartoons could be classified as satirical.
Now, let's try it with a video. See if you can identify the satirical techniques being used.
This headline from a staff member of the satirical newspaper The Onion is ambiguous. Ambiguity is a technique sometimes used to advance satire. In his first campaign, President Obama ran with the slogan "Change," but a person who disliked that we finally have a black president would buy into the stereotype of this headline which is that all African-Americans are afraid to work. This is obviously false. What the paper does is to make fun of the backward folk out there who would believe this stereotype to be true and interpret the headline in this negative way.
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