Satire, one of the most powerful forms of expression, has many purposes. However, it is primarily intended to convey society’s crucial issues. Employing humor, irony, and sarcasm to prove the satirist’s argument and demonstrate the ridiculousness of the topic at hand, satire attracts wide audiences and causes readers to think critically and analyze the work to understand the argument made by the satirists. Moreover, by using satire, satirists are able to indirectly express their argument. It is utilized in several subjects to demonstrate a wide array of topics; however, it is mainly used in various forms of art, such as comics, politics, entertainment and much more.
A Canadian television reporter and TV personality, John Doyle, once said, “There are specific periods when satire is necessary. We’ve entered one of those times.” This statement highlights the evident existence of some of the most prominent issues faced by the world. People being held knowing the reason of their arrest; blackmailing becoming a hobby to implicate the innocent; the loyal and truthful being pointed out as liars; the killing of animals unnecessarily or as a sport; exploitation of natural resources to satisfy human greed; implication of innocent people for crimes they did not commit; wars breaking out in various regions of the world, killing millions of people and showing no signs of ending in the near future; apparent racism and discrimination in many countries; global poverty; the increase in greenhouse gases, resulting in unstable weather and global warming; injustice in politics and the vast number of immoral politicians who commit various illegal activities, and much more.
Voicing opinions on such controversial topics requires a great amount of bravery and confidence in today’s society. They can be ignored if they don’t hold strong opinions. So, what better tool than satire to voice such criticism? Satire can be found in almost every form of writing, from controversial newspapers to cartoons and comics, from books to movies, TV shows and documentaries. Most critics utilize satire to successfully express their arguments. Messages that were used to be ignored or punished with, are now reaching millions in satirical form today, making a huge difference in the advancing society. According to Geoffrey Baym, the Chairman of Temple University’s media and communications department, “Satire is a way of challenging power when the legitimate ways of challenging power are closed off,” This statement mainly suggests the role and power of satire in world politics. One of its best utilizations is shown in democracy. One such instance can be taken from the current Trump era.
According to the majority of reporters and TV personalities, Trump is making satire great again! He is the target of most comedians due to his odd take-offs. Some of the most famous TV show hosts who use satire to criticize Trump include Sophia McCLennan, Seth Meyers, Stephen Colbert, Trevor Noah, etc. As can be seen from their large audiences, this technique is flawless. John Oliver, a Canadian television personality, known for implementing extreme satire to discuss world news and politics, proved the fact that Trump lies about many things through various satirical representations of genuine examples. For example, he showed that the claim Trump made about self-funding, his own campaign, is wrong because half of his funding came from individual contributions. The audience laughed and made realizing sounds of Trump’s lies. Furthermore, satire has not left any stone unturned when it comes to portraying dictatorship. One great example is the movie, “The Great Dictator.” It is one of the first movies that used satire to mock a historical political situation of the Nazi Germany. The movie was not all comedy. However, it delivered a serious message about the terrorizing Nazi rule. As a result, this revolutionizing movie attracted a huge audience. This shows how powerful satire is when it comes to criticizing the powerful.
Satirists know how to target the weak points of any subject in the most hilarious and powerful manner. These works prompt people to wake up and find solutions to end corruption. However, Satire can create controversies at initial stages, can even bring down the criticizers, but its ability to throw sharp opinions would suppress the activists against the majority. Over time, though, satirical works are used in campaigns to make the world a better place. Comedic satire is also one of the most attractive and powerful forms of satire. One of the most famous historical piece of satirical work, “The Modest Proposal”, written by Jonathan Swift, is known for its use of creative irony. It highlights the terrible poverty faced by Ireland in the 18th century. What makes it both ironical and surprising, is the author’s innovative idea of Irish parents earning money by selling their children as food to the English, who were rich and civilized at that time. Throughout this piece, Swift demonstrates the issue of ignorant Englishmen not lending their hand to help the poor of Ireland. Moreover, in today’s world, a large part of comical satire is memes. They are the key as to why satire is becoming increasingly popular today, on social media and the Internet in general.
Memes played a huge role in the latest presidential election in the United States of America. People enjoyed these memes as a way to lighten the serious dilemma they faced in choosing between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, as many felt both were unsuitable in many ways. At the same time, these memes conveyed the issue of the dilemma faced by the voters of who can make a better president. In conclusion, satire is one of the most powerful forms of expression because of its prominent role in almost all subjects. The examples listed above indicate how satire can be both hilarious and serious at the same time. After all, what is more deadly and powerful than the combination of humor and seriousness? Satire is a master at questioning the authority of the powerful and suppressing their corrupt dreams and ambitions. It easily challenges society and its people without causing any harm or destruction. It conveys critical mockery and humor. That is the power of Satire.
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