Satirical Analysis: The Storyteller by Saki
Target of Satire:
The Storyteller, by Saki, has potentially two targets. The first target of story are the repetitive stories that are often told to children to teach them lessons on morality. The author pokes fun at these dull stories as a result of the children preferring the unethical story over the moral one. The second target can be found in the story within the story. The little girl, who is a goody-two-shoes, is subtly portrayed as an arrogant conceited person. The author has her die a horrible death to represent how narcissism can lead to a person’s downfall. Satirical Devices Used:
In The Storyteller, by Saki, the author uses the satirical devices of exaggeration, verbal as well as situational irony, caricature, parody, and incongruities to criticize the targets. The author uses exaggeration as well as caricature by repeatedly stating how “good” Bertha was. Verbal irony is used when the aunt complains about the fly because the fly can be considered as a symbol for the way the bachelor feels about the family. Situational irony and incongruities are achieved when the medals of obedience, good conduct, and punctuality clink together hinting to the wolf where Betha was hiding (leading to her death). Parody is present as a result of the use of the girl, the wolf, and the pigs (Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs). Type of Satire:
The Storyteller, by Saki, can be considered more Horatian than Juvenalian because it is gentle and short lived. However, it can be considered Juvenalian because the attacks on the targets are indirect.
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