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Satire Essay

799 words - 3 pages

We often see satire in our everyday lives such as on televisions, novels, and music; but why is satire used? Satire is a form of writing used to denounce human vice, giving readers an insight on the flaws that the author sees in society. There are two different types of way to present satire: horation and juvenialian. In the three works: Candide by Voltaire, Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes, and A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift all demonstrate the use of satire. However, Don Quixote presents only horation satire and A Modest Proposal uses juvenalian satire, while Candide uses both types of satire. By combining both horatian and juvenilian satire one’s piece is able to present social criticism more effectively than only using one.
Don Quixote demonstrates horation, but the attack on society backfires and is too mild for readers to truly notice the flaws in humanity. Horatian satire gently pokes fun at social vice through light-hearted humor. In Don Quixote, the author mocks the society he lived in: people lacking the manners of knights. In the story, Don Quixote unhappily witnesses a boy being abused by a farmer, who he believes is a knight, the farmer promises no further injustice to the boy and “swears to [Don Quixote] by all orders of knighthood” and Don Quixote, believing in the word of knights, leaves the farmer flogging the boy even more severely (1542). Don Quixote believed “such was the manner [of]...the valorous knight, which only brought more pain; contradicting the author’s wishes to demonstrate that the ways of the knights were better (1543). Cervantes satirizes on men not being able to keep their word but presents this too gently and is overshadowed by the ignorance of Don Quixote.
There is another example seen in Don Quixote which fails to elucidate the shortcomings in society. In human nature, prostitutes are not to be respected for their indecency; but when Don Quixote is assisted by prostitutes in the inn he “fancied these wenches...and so proceeded to address them very gracefully” abnormally showing gentleman acts towards them (1535). Don Quixote treats the women with the same regard as any another woman, but instead of accepting his kind manners the prostitutes “not used to listening to speeches like this and had not a word to say...merely asked if he desire to eat anything”, Don...

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