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Mark Twain and Satire

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Jack Zeligson

on 9 April 2013

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Transcript of Mark Twain and Satire

Mark Twain and
Satire What is Satire? Satire can describe a work, a passage, or a tone, but mainly takes on comedy/humor Mark's Usage of Satire Mark Twain's main source of material for satire was
U.S. politics By Jack Zeligson Wasn't until late Colonial era until American forms
of humor became popular Satire has the intention of correcting human fault Fake news shows have won the attention of the American public. Acknowledged as “One of America’s greatest political humorists among public speaking” (Goode, Stephen) Humor derived from the gap, which was most visible in politics. Twain's Main Target Twain especially hated Congress Twain was able to show his humor during lectures "We have a criminal-jury system which is superior to any in the world; and its efficiency is only marred by the difficulty of finding 12 men every day who don't know anything and can't read." Mark was able to mix satire and social criticism in order to address the main issues of the current time. Why was Twain so special? Twain spoke in an "idiosyncratic twang",
which critics disliked. Audience favored his tone, for it made him sound like he was one of them "Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Modern-Day Satire Modern-day satirists include: Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Bill Maher, and Keith Olbermann Forms of satire such as comedic news shows and comics have provided a fun way to inform the younger generation about current events. Satire In: The Colbert Report In this video, Stephen Colbert satirizes North Korea, and how they have declared the armistice with South Korea null and void. This is another example of indirect satire, because Stephen Colbert pretends to be a Republican. http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/425000/april-02-2013/we-are-at-war---north-korea Satire in: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart In this video, Jon Stewart satirizes: The benefits of sending children to pre-schools, Puerto Rico's fight to become a state, and what would happen if a meteorite struck the Earth. This is an example of direct satire. Direct and Indirect Satire Direct Satire: A first-person speaker addresses either the reader or another character in the work whose conversation helps develop the purposes of the character. Shows and movies such as The Colbert Report, and The Weekend Update With Seth Meyers are examples of Direct Satire Indirect Satire: A fictional narrative in which characters who show particular points of view are made fun of using their own thoughts and behavior, and sometimes with added emphasis from an ironic narrator. An example of Indirect Satire is a TV show such as Family Guy. Twain's Other Satirical Targets Besides Congress, Twain satirized many things including racism, and the time period he lived in. Throughout all these topics, his ultimate goal was to point out human folly and hypocrisy. "The idea that America is a Christian nation? Andrew Carnegie brought that up to him once. 'Why, Carnegie,' Twain answered, 'so is Hell.'" Twain's Decline When Twain's beloved daughter Susy died, his vision of mankind grew darker. In 1901, when President McKinley was assassinated and his Vice President (Theodore Roosevelt) was moved to office, Twain became even more depressed, calling Theodore "The Tom Sawyer of the political world of the 20th century. Over the years, Twain gradually became angrier and angrier, less and less jester. Works Cited "Who's Laughing Now? American Political Satire." PBS. PBS, 11 July 2003. Web. 30 Mar. 2013. Jr., Roy Blount. "Mark Twain: Our Original Superstar." Time. Time, 03 July 2008. Web. 30 Mar. 2013. Goode, Stephen. "Congress: A Laughing Matter." Insight on the News 22 July 1996: 18. Print. Stewart, Jon, prod. "March 6, 2013 - Neil DeGrasse Tyson." The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Dir. Chuck O'Neil. Comedy Central. 06 Mar. 2013. Youtube.com. Comedy Central, 07 Mar. 2013. Web. 30 Mar. 2013. Works Cited Continued "April 2, 2013 - Jim McGreevey." The Colbert Report. Comedy Central. 02 Apr. 2013. Colbertnation.com. Comedy Central, 02 Apr. 2013. Web. 06 Apr. 2013. "The UVic Writer's Guide." The UVic Writer's Guide. University of Victoria, 13 May 1995. Web. 06 Apr. 2013. ("The UVic Writer's Guide) ("Who's Laughing Now? American Political Satire") ("The UVic Writer's Guide") ("Who's Laughing Now? American Political Satire") (Goode, Stephen) (Goode, Stephen) (Goode, Stephen) (Jr., Roy Blaunt) http://www.themarysue.com/watterson-mark-twain/ (Goode, Stephen) (Jr., Roy Blaunt) (Stewart, Jon) ("April 2 2013 - Jim McGreevey") (Jr., Roy Blaunt) http://www.examiner.com/article/revealed-mark-twain-s-view-of-christianity There are also many websites such as "The Onion", which put satirical spins on news stories in a similar way to the television shows do.
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