What is all around us? What is used every day? What makes some laugh? What is the answer to these questions? The answer is satire. Satire is a form of criticism that can be used in many ways and in many different situations. Sometimes satire is easy to spot, other times it may be incognito. Satire is commonly found in literary works, movies, cartoons, and even some news casts.
The formal definition of satire is the use of humor to expose human follies. (Dictionary.com). Satire is mostly written because a certain issue bothered the author. Through satire, these issues are brought into the sight of others so that issues could possibly be improved. There are four techniques that are used to create a satire. There is exaggeration, incongruity, reversal, and parody. Exaggeration is where the faults of a person or institution are exaggerated to make it look ludicrous. Incongruity is where something is presented out of place in accordance to its surroundings. A reversal is where something like the order of events is abnormal. The last technique that is used is parody. Parody is where the style or technique of a person, place or thing is imitated.
Satire can be broken into two different sub categories. There is Juvenalian satire and Horatian satire. Juvenalian satire is a very harsh form of satire. This form of satire is full of dislike and is very bitter towards a certain institution or person. Juvenalian satire tends to produce anger form the reader. This type of satire can be found in political cartoons. Horatian satire is the complete opposite of Juvenalian satire. Horatian satire is very witty and may seem to be amused with the topic at hand. The author is very gentle with any criticism towards a person, institution, or issue. The effect of Horatian satire on a reader is laughter or a wry smile. Horatian satire can be found in literary works.
In the novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding, satire can be found in the actions of one character named Piggy. Piggy is the boy that is the nerd or intellectual of the group. Piggy represents the intellectuals that created that atomic bomb in WWII. Golding was strongly opposed to the atomic bomb hence the satire in his novel. The first example of satire is found in chapter two .The boys are trying to start a fire and they are all gathering wood except for Piggy. Instead of helping Piggy, “. . . just sat.” (Golding 39) and watched everyone else do the work. This is an example of Horatian satire. Golding doesn’t outright say that he is making fun of the intellects, it is subtle. The next piece of satire is in chapter eight. An assembly has been called and the decision of moving the fire onto the beach has been made. Piggy was the one who suggested this, and because he was so proud of himself, he helped fetch wood (118). Even though he helped, the wood was close at hand so he didn’t have to exert himself too much. This is also an example of Horatian satire because Golding is implying that the...