Satirical Literature &
RDG 101 OLA
“Satire is like a mirror in which [a man] sees
everyone’s face but [his] own.”
Satire is a literary genre that uses irony, wit
and sometimes sarcasm, to expose humanity’s
foibles giving impetus to changes through
ridicule. The author of a satire reduces the
vaulted worth of something to its realdecidedly lower- worth.
Characteristics of Satire
• SATIRE IS NOT COMEDY, which just seeks to entertain or
amuse. Satire, while implicitly humorous, has a moral
1. Moral lesson
3. Shared community standard of
correct behavior (which begets the
**The goal of satire is not just to abuse, but rather, to provoke
change or reform.
Two Examples of Satire:
One technique used in
satire is that of
disputation which can be
effective in making any
logical argument appear
ridiculous, when it may
not be, by stretching it to
an extreme which goes far
beyond the body or
intent or scope of the
A. In America, citizens have the right to
B. Oh, so it's OK with you for hundreds of
innocent kids to be killed each year
with unregistered handguns?
A. Everyone in a free country ought to be
able to live according to their own
B. Oh, so it's OK for witches to dig up
bodies to cut out gall bladders for
ingredients for their magic potions?
The next section of the PowerPoint
explains two types of satire AND the
different techniques or characteristics
Since you will be taking a quiz AND
creating your own short satirical piece
at the end of the module, it is
important to not just glance through
the PowerPoint but to understand the
EXAMPLE #1: An Older Article
Apple Hard At Work Making iPhone Obsolete
CUPERTINO, CA—Only a month after the much-heralded announcement
of the iPhone, Apple CEO Steve Jobs confirmed that his engineers were
already working around-the-clock on the touch screen smart phone's farsuperior replacement. "We looked at [the iPhone's] innovative user
interface, the paradigm-shifting voicemail, the best-in-class mobile browser,
and we realized we could make all that seem ridiculously outdated by the
time the product becomes available to customers in June," said Jobs, who
described the project as "Apple reinventing the iPhone." "When the secondgeneration iPhone comes out this fall, we want iPhone users to feel not just
jealous, but downright foolish for owning such laughably primitive
technology." Jobs also hinted that the second iPhone device would not be
compatible with existing Mac computers, third-party peripherals, or any
future Apple products.
What You Should Have Noticed…
• In order to mock/ ridicule technology
companies, this article utilizes sarcasm and
irony. For example, Jobs supposedly states
that apple wants “users to feel not just jealous,
but downright foolish for owning such
laughably primitive technology."
It Almost As If Rite Aid
Cashier Doesn’t Care
About Reputation Of Rite
PEORIA, IL—Citing the man’s wrinkled uniform and detached attitude, Rite Aid patrons
surmised Thursday that, if appearances could be believed, it would almost seem as though
cashier Gabriel Morales was wholly unconcerned with the reputation and overall
corporate health of the third largest retail pharmacy chain in the United States. “I don’t
want to jump to conclusions here, but his body language and general behavior might
nearly imply that he has little or no regard for the history of the Rite Aid corporation and
the image that it wants to project to the world,” said pharmacy customer Michael Valetta
of the 39-year-old Rite Aid employee, noting that Morales’ nonexistent greeting, slow
response time, and general air of indifference all but pointed to the conclusion that he
perhaps did not see himself as a representative of the Rite Aid brand who has been tasked
with upholding that company’s sense of tradition and character. “Honestly, if I didn’t know
any better, I’d say he was just treating this job as—how should I put this—well, almost like
it were any other minimum wage retail job rather than an esteemed position at one of
America’s most beloved, time-honored companies.” At press time, customers were baffled
to note Morales smoking outside of the store while on a break, as though he wasn’t the
public face of the country’s premier purveyor of pharmacy, health, and wellness services.
From: The Onion 11/14/13
What You Should Ask Yourself…
• Is all the information in the text true?
• What point is the author trying to make?
• What serious problem is the author trying to
bring to light?
• What techniques does the author employ to
make his point?
• Cartoonists use simple objects, or symbols, to
stand for larger concepts or ideas.
• After you identify the symbols in a
cartoon, think about what the cartoonist
intends each symbol to stand for.
• What are the simple objects, or symbols, to
stand for larger concepts or ideas.
What does the cartoonist intend each symbol
to stand for?
• Sometimes cartoonists overdo, or
exaggerate, the physical characteristics of people
or things in order to make a point.
• When you study a cartoon, look for any
characteristics that seem overdone or overblown.
(Facial characteristics and clothing are some of
the most commonly exaggerated characteristics.)
• Then, try to decide what point the cartoonist was
trying to make through exaggeration.
• What physical characteristics of people or
things are exaggerated in order to make a
• What is over done(Facial characteristics and
clothing are some of the most commonly
• What point is the cartoonist trying to make?
• Cartoonists often label objects or
people to make it clear exactly what they stand
• Watch out for the different labels that appear in
a cartoon, and ask yourself why the cartoonist
chose to label that particular person or object.
• Does the label make the meaning of the object
• What labeling is there?
• Why did the cartoonist chose to label that
particular person or object?
• Does the label make the meaning of the
• An analogy is a comparison between two unlike things that share
• By comparing a complex issue or situation with a more familiar
one, cartoonists can help their readers see it in a different light.
• After you’ve studied a cartoon for a awhile, try to decide what the
cartoon’s main analogy is.
• What two situations does the cartoon compare?
• Once you understand the main analogy, decide if this comparison
makes the cartoonist’s point more clear to you.
• What 2 unlike things are being compared?
• Does this make the cartoonist’s point more
clear to you.
• You need to understand the history.
• Is the difference between the ways things are and the
way things should be, or the way things are expected
• Cartoonists often use irony to express their opinion on
• When you look at a cartoon, see if you can find any
irony in the situation the cartoon depicts. If you
can, think about what point the irony might be
intended to emphasize. Does the irony help the
cartoonist express his or her opinion more effectively?
• The difference between the ways things are and
the way things should be, or the way things are
expected to be.
• Can you find any irony in the situation the
• Does the irony help the cartoonist express his or
her opinion more effectively?
“MD” – to
Child = All
people in US
some type of
I am using this cartoon as an example – not as a derogatory statement
about Obama Care. It is a very current PC and a great example.
Political Cartoon Example
Symbolism: Obama = ObamaCare
Irony: Obama says
“Don’t mind me…” like
he is trying to be quiet
and unassuming and not
in anyone’s business, but
in reality his concept of
ObamaCare has gotten
involved in people’s
private matters and
made something that
was private more public.
Analogy: Two unlike things – a baby who needs a quick check-up TO the millions
of Americans who need health care that will keep them alive
Parts 2 -5 of Module 8
Part 2: Reading “A Modest Proposal”
Part 3: Quiz
Part 4: Discussion Board
Part 5: Create short satirical essay
Give Credit Where Credit is Due…
This PowerPoint is a compilation of different
PowerPoint presentations I have used over the
years. I have created some of the slides and
have also borrowed some of the slides from
other educators’ work. I greatly thank
everyone who has contributed to this