by Adam Huddleston
This week’s literary term is: satire. Satire is defined as the use of exaggeration or humor to expose the fallacies or corruption in government or individuals. It is closely linked with irony which is defined as: a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often amusing as a result.
One of the most well-known pieces of literature that employs satire is “Gulliver’s Travels”. Written by Jonathan Swift in 1726, this novel pokes fun at English government, religion, and Western Culture. Another example is “Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain. His work brings to light issues concerning slavery as well as other facets of American society in the 1800’s.
Generally speaking, the main purpose of satire is to affect a positive change in society. While their approach is humorous, the desire of the writer is not to have the reader laugh at the foibles they are bringing to light, but to excite them to confront those wrong-doings.