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Satire is a genre, or category, of art or literature that uses wit, irony, and sarcasm to talk about or unveil evil or bad behavior in humanity: the purpose is to change or improve the wrongdoing being highlighted by ridiculing it or making it ridiculous. Satire should not be confused with comedy, as the purpose of comedy with humor is to entertain an audience. Satire may make someone laugh and may be humorous, but it has a purpose to change and reform something about humans. Whenever a topic is pointed to with satire, we say it is satirized.
Some individuals may think that satire is mean or abusive, but satire is not directed at things that cannot be changed, such as physical characteristics. It is mostly used to examine problems with institutions, like religion or government, and immoral things humans choose to do. A good example would be political cartoons in newspapers. We often see satire regarding political figures and world leaders, such as the President of the United States. Since they are part of an institution, they are more readily used as subject matter for satire. If we think in these terms, it makes sense that satire tries to create change when what it attacks are things that can indeed change.
Satire can be direct or indirect. If a piece of satire uses a first-person character or narrator who may address the audience, then the work is a direct satire. In indirect satire, the satire occurs through exaggerated illustrations or grand presentations. Usually this form of satire is about what the piece does not say, or what it is not saying, rather than what is being said.
We have news websites that write articles that are meant to be satires, such as The Onion. Satire can also be found in films, comic books, newspapers, and video games. Charlie Chaplin satirized characters in his films. Since Charlie Chaplin was a silent film actor, his satire worked through exaggerated movements and facial expressions.
Satire is often used in classical literature and genres. It is commonly found in the 17th and 18th centuries. For instance, satirists, or people who write satire, of these time periods include Moliere, Jonathan Swift, and Voltaire. We can easily find satire in the genre of science fiction, especially if technology and human advancement are the topics being examined and satirized.The novel A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess is a good example of satire in the realm of science fiction.
The following are films, books, and movies where satire can be seen:
- Gulliver’s Travels
- Animal Farm
- The Truman Show
- Monty Python
- Modern Times
- Duck Soup
- Mr. Mom
- Mrs. Doubtfire
- The Lego Movie
- The Princess Bride
- A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court
- The Butter Battle Book
- The Colbert Report
Examples of Satire:
Taken from The Onion:
“NASA Deploys Congressional Rover to Search for Funding.”
The title itself, while it may be humorous, indicates that this article is going to be satirical. While it may be funny and contain a science joke about what NASA actually does, the article is pointing to the fact that government funding to NASA has been severely reduced and/or eliminated. As mentioned, the satire is pointing at something that can be changed, and suggests that funding to NASA may be extremely important.
Another article taken from The Onion serves as another example of satire:
“Scientists Continue Developing Alternative Energy Sources for Americans to Waste.”
Like the previous example, the title of the article is humorous. However, it tried to point ot the fact that Americans are wasting more and more energy and resources. It is trying to put the focus on American’s wastefulness through satire. In the example, it suggests that Americans would simply waste an alternative energy source that scientists could develop to help the waste problem.
This bundle contains 5 ready-to-use satire worksheets that are perfect to test student knowledge and understanding of what satire is and how it can be used. You can use these satire worksheets in the classroom with students, or with home schooled children as well.
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Link will appear as Satire Examples and Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, July 13, 2017
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.