Humor's Role in Society

Topics: Humour, Jonathan Swift, Satire Pages: 2 (455 words) Published: December 13, 2012
December 5, 2012

A Joke Is A Serious Thing
Alain de Botton is reasonable in his theory that humorists are capable of mentioning societal problems an/or solutions through comedy, “serving a vital function in society.” Humorists can expose their messages indirectly because they are not entitled to invade social matters in serious situations, and are therefore understood and accepted.

According to Rory Bremner, a humorist must be “brave, but not foolish.” If a humorist does so, their point will get across to the audience without a difficulty and discomfort. A humorist’s compelling claim or argument is usually not taken seriously enough to be a threat because everyone loves “funny” statements coming from a “funny” people. However, the humor of the point that the humorist is attempting to get across draws attention, therefore drawing attention to the issue being made fun of. For instance, in a satirical piece known as “A Modest Proposal,” Jonathan Swift is able to mention a disturbing solution to eat the babies of Ireland in order to confront the issue of poverty, drawing attention to Irelands poverty using his satire. Swift received a rare amount of negative feedback. He did not encounter the problem solemnly enough to be taken seriously or offend his readers. A humorist is able to acknowledge an issue and notify the public through his or her work, subsequently working like an activist, with less complicated reactions from the public.

Politicians may plainly state their claims and perspectives about the public to the public, expecting to draw attention to an insipid speech of a serious matter. That attention is accessible to all humorists, because humorists can relate to everyone through the concept of fun and banter, without being too dull or stationary. For example, local weekly newspaper cartoons about the government are brought about not only to amuse readers, but to inform them concurrently. Published in his local newspaper, Gary Varvel illustrated a...
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