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The Satirical Essay

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by

Vivian Wong

on 12 February 2014

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Transcript of The Satirical Essay

Elements & Purpose
humourous and slightly absurd piece of writing but with a clear underlying message
often used for social or political criticism
makes use of figures of speech with comedic elements
The Satirical Essay
Structure &
How to Live to Be 200
hook
ask a leading question, relay something enticing, start with a related quotation
command the reader's attention
Leacock uses essay title as hook --> seems to state he will offer the secret to living a long life
induces further reading
Seamus Bailey, Catherine Li, Katrina Li, Nancy Lin, Vivian Wong, Shunpei Yamawaki
Block 1-1 Feb. 13, 2014
Techniques
Satire
literary genre
uses wit, irony, and sarcasm
often has a ameliorative aim
uses laughter as a weapon to debunk and deflate targets

Irony
literary device
contradiction between appearance or expectation and reality
cartoon - teens' attitudes toward work and responsibility are opposite of what we expected --> ironic how mentalities have changed
irony, juxtaposition, exaggeration, caricaturization
Direct
first-person narrator addresses reader or character (adversarius)
adversarius evokes and guides satiric speaker's comments

direct address
begins with narration of Jiggins
awareness of readers' presence

Indirect
uses fictional narratives --> consists of characters, ideas, institutions
How to Live to Be 200
thesis/opinion
will be opposite your opinion on the issue
Leacock urges readers "cut out all this nonsense" and to "eat what we want, eat lots of it"
thesis: "Don't bother with either of fresh air or exercise" (paragraph 27)
similar to persuasive essay as it does not need to be placed in the intro
place where there is most impact
place after you have made your argument --> Leacock places his at the end
summation device
literary devices
hyperbole --> exaggerations for emphasis
Jiggins is a man "who could have gotten a job as a dog anywhere" (paragraph 5)
not realistic but emphasizes the amount of time Jiggins exercises and that such a routine is excessive
irony --> use of words to convey opposite meaning
"Cholera is caused by a frightful pain in the stomach, and diptheria is caused by trying to cure a sore throat" (paragraph 23)
untrue claim, contributes to humourous mood
imitates prejudicial mindset of certain people in society
verbal irony --> speaker says something that is different from the meaning that is expressed
"Eat what they want. Eat lots of it. Yes, eat too much of it. Eat till they can just stagger across the room with it and prop it up against a sofa cushion." (paragraph 25)
opposite his intention
prompts readers to realize absurdity of two lifestyles: being a health maniac and couch potato
rhetorical questions
"But as long as you have the price of a hack and can hire other people to play baseball for you and run races and do gymnastics when you sit in the shade and smoke and watch them --- great heavens, what more do you want?” (paragraph 27)
beckons reader to acknowledge that it is not enough to rely on one mode of health maintenance
achieving good health requires many methods to not tilt into negligence or oversensitivity
uses an informal tone
pronoun "you" establishes familiarity between Leacock and his readers
claims appear trustworthy
Remember...
satirical essays reflect your personal opinions
allows for creative freedom when writing
stick to your main idea
use humour and sarcasm but remain respectful
Full transcript