Satire and Parody Things you already laugh at but now have to define in a way which will take the fun out of them.
Part one: Satire • Satire is a type of writing that uses humor to expose and ridicule vice and folly. • WHAT? • Well, exposing is a call-out, while ridicule is making fun • How do these two differ? • A vice is an immoral habit or conduct • Folly, on the other hand, is just genuine foolishness or silly behavior.
Ways of satirizing • Satire can be found in many forms, from essays and novels to news broadcasts and speeches. • Some common techniques used in satire include • Understatement • Hyperbole • Sarcasm • Fictional conflicts (used as obvious references to a real world conflict) • The point of doing any of these things is to comment on an issue, making a mockery of it and
Classic satire • As a classic example, we’re now going to start reading a piece by Jonathan Swift, the author of Gulliver’s Travels. The essay is call “A Modest Proposal.” • As we read the story, please explore the following ideas: • Swift makes great use of irony – please note down examples you find, especially surrounding the title. • Who is the audience for this essay? What does he hope they will do as a result of his writing? • Keep in mind that a proposal implies that the writer is trying to persuade people to agree with his point of view. • It will take a while for Swift to get to his point. When he does, note down why he avoided stating it right away, and instead decided to beat around the bush.
Modern examples of Satire • The Onion, an online newspaper (and in print in some cities, or at least Chicago), is satirical in nature. • It makes fun of news stories and newspapers in general with outrageous headlines and source-less stories. • Even the weather report makes fun of weather reports, and the paper’s tag line highlights that news organizations can say whatever they want about themselves.
Part TWO: PARODY • Parody is writing that makes fun of another, more serious work, or of its author’s style • Okay… • Well, we all know what making fun of stuff is, right? • So, parody can be of another work that is serious • In the show “30 Rock,” Tracy Morgan’s character made a film that was basically Precious, but instead it was a male character. The title was Hard to Watch. • Why would that be a parody of Precious? • Parody can also make fun of an author’s style. • Let’s consider who can “author” a “text” for this next part
Ways of delivering parody – Text and Speech • Parodies use the same literary elements as the work that they are parodying • In Alexander Pope’s epic poem about stealing a lock of hair from a woman, he was writing a parody of Homer’s epic poems, The Odyssey and The Iliad. • Epic poems describe heroes and their deeds in a lot of detail with very elaborate descriptions of their deeds, so a parody of these texts would describe something mundane in a really fantastical and descriptive manner. • Mocking someone in speech is basically parody, provided you are trying to make a point out of their manner of speaking or use of certain phrases.
Ways of delivering parody – Music and art • Some of the most famous parodies around are actually song and video parodies, where both the message and the style of the original artist is the subject of the parody. • The most well-known parody songwriter of the last thirty years is Weird Al Yankovic– he parodied every part of an artist’s work: the song, the video, and even the album art
Modern examples of parody (Text) These particular texts spoof (make fun of by mocking) bedtime stories and classic literature.
Recognizing the differences • Despite being so inter-related as both writing and comedic elements, Parody and Satire are different, and finding the differences can be tricky. • Both can be funny, but satire seeks to make a point through scathing humor, while parody just mocks. • That isn’t to say parody doesn’t ever make a point – but satire is looking for something deeper with the commentary, while parody’s first focus is laughter. • We’ll have to have a little practice. I’m going to show you some examples, and you’ll need to justify if it is parody or satire. • Considering the audience helps.