Satire occurs in literature to bring attention to a cause and bring individuals, corporations, government or society itself, into improvement. Satire may be meant to be more constructive than humorous. Satire’s job is to expose problems and contradictions, and it’s not obligated to solve them. its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit as a weapon and as a tool to draw attention to both particular and wider issues in society. Satire can be used to “make people laugh and then make them think”
Satire can cover irony, sarcasm, burlesque, parody, exaggeration, juxtaposition and double entendres. It can be directed toward one individual, a whole country or even the world. It is sometimes serious, acting as a protest or to expose, or comical when used to poke fun at something or someone.
Satire examples from media include:
“Weekend Update” from Saturday Night Live
The Daily Show
In irony, words are used to show the opposite of the actual meaning. The three kinds of irony are:
Verbal irony – – What you say is different from the words you use.
Situational irony — compares what is expected to happen with what actually does happen.
Dramatic irony –– uses a narrative to give the audience more information about the story than the character knows.
Here is an example of irony from The Simpsons television show, spoken by the character Sideshow Bob, “I’m aware of the irony of appearing on TV in order to decry it.”
A parody is also called a spoof, and is used to make fun or mock someone or something by imitating them in a funny or satirical way. Parody is found in literature, movies, and song.
A good example or a parody is the song “I lost on Jeopardy” by Weird Al Yankovic, which is a parody of the song “Our Love’s in jeopardy” by Greg Kihn.
“Weird Al” Yankovic – I Lost On Jeopardy
Sarcasm is a sharp or cutting remark which is really meant to really drive a point home. It can be meant to give pain and can include irony. On the other hand, sometimes you can make a point and still be funny. Here are some examples of sarcasm that are humorous, but still get their meaning across.
Paul Newman said, “It’s always darkest before it turns absolutely pitch black.”
Steven Bishop remarked, “It’s a catastrophic success” and “I feel so miserable without you, it’s almost like having you here.”
Oscar Wilde wrote, “I am not young enough to know everything.”
Groucho Marx used many sarcastic one-liners in his comedy. Here are a few:
“Marriage is the chief cause of divorce.”
“I didn’t like the play, but then I saw it under adverse conditions – the curtain was up.”
“I never forget a face, but in your case I’ll be glad to make an exception.”