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Satire in Dystopian Writing

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Anna Kinder

on 13 September 2016

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Transcript of Satire in Dystopian Writing

Satire in Dystopian Writing
"A Modest Proposal" is a pamphlet that was written by Jonathan Swift in 1729 as a social commentary and satire over the worsening economic conditions of Ireland. He proposed that
the people of Ireland should satiate their desperate
hunger by eating their own young.
Jonathan Swift,
"A Modest Proposal"
1. a literary work holding up human vices and follies to ridicule or scorn

2. the use of wit, irony, or sarcasm in
order to expose and discredit
vice or folly
definition. function.
purpose. application.

What is satire?
What does it look like?
What is its purpose?

“I am assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London; that a young healthy child, well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food; whether stewed, roasted, baked or boiled, and I make no doubt, that it will equally serve in a fricassee, or ragout.”
"A Modest Proposal," p. 207
1. a literary or musical work in which the style of an author or work is closely imitated for comic effect or in ridicule

2. a feeble or ridiculous imitation

Parody employs humor; satire is not always funny.
Satire is often tragic; parody is typically light-hearted
Satire often seeks to make a political or social statement; parodies mainly seek to entertain
What is the difference
between the two?
(cc) image by anemoneprojectors on Flickr

is actually a form of satire
it imitates the characteristic style of
another author
or work in an exaggerated fashion
for comic effect.
its aim is to criticize or
mock the original work in a
humorous way.
Satire or Parody?
Satire in Dystopian Writing
Satire is used often in dystopian work
It usually critiques a situation or aspect of society that already exists, exploring and predicting
the problems that may arise in the future if the nothing changes
How is
"Harrison Bergeron"
How is this quote satirical?

What is it mocking?
"All this equality was due to the
211th, 212th, and 213th amendments
to the Constitution."
"Hazel had a perfectly average intelligence, which meant she couldn't think about anything except in short bursts."
How is this quote satirical?

What is it mocking?
How is this quote also satirical?
What does it suggest about
Hazel's intelligence
(or lack thereof)?
"Go on and rest the bag for a little while,"
[Hazel] said. "I don't care if you're not equal to me for awhile."
"The music was normal
at first: cheap,
silly, false."
Where is the satire here?
"Gee, I could tell that
one was a doozy,"
said Hazel.
"You can say that again,"
said George.
"Gee," said Hazel, "I could tell
that one was a doozy."
Satire often uses irony to create humor, to evoke deeper thinking, for shock value, etc.
Satire often points out ironies in our
society that already exist.
Satire's relationship
with irony:
What are some ironies
you noticed in
"Harrison Bergeron?"
Harrison getting shot and a "riveting gun" being the sound George hears through his earpiece
Harrison taking off his handicaps in rebellion against his
oppressive government, only to exclaim that he is
"the emperor" and that "everyone must do what
[he] says at once!"?
Situational, Dramatic, or Verbal?
A parody is a form of satire that involves humor,
but not all satire is funny.

Satire mocks and ridicules some aspect of culture or society
in order to inspire change.

Satire employs irony, wit, and sarcasm often.

Satire is used often in dystopian writing to criticize current
aspects of a society and to predict/forewarn future turmoil
if change does not occur.
Things to Remember
"You Sound Like Me"
The "Mapple Store"
"Total Eclipse of
the Heart" literal:
"Waking up with Kimye"
"Cool Wedding"
Full transcript