Public Education as Satire in the Simpsons

Topics: The Simpsons, Matt Groening, Education Pages: 2 (598 words) Published: January 9, 2006
The Simpsons are one of the longest running and most popular television shows. This popularity exists because "the Simpsons [have] always operated on two levels. On one level appealing to children as a fast paced cartoon and then for the older audiences for its wit and [satire]" (Batscha). Satire is the common thread with binds all of The Simpsons episodes. The writers show the absurdity in ordinary everyday situations including religion, politics and other social issues. This has been the leading cause for its controversy and longevity. However, the Simpsons' crude style is necessary and meant to induce anger. The public school system is one of the most common targets of satire.

The two school going children of the Simpsons, Bart, the delinquent child and Lisa the straight A well behaved child are used to show that even 2 extremes are detrimentally effected by educational system. In the opening sequence, Bart is writing a phrase repeatedly on his class chalkboard: "I WILL NOT EXPOSE THE IGNORANCE OF THE FACULTY", in one episode, "THIS PUNISHMENT IS NOT BORING AND POINTLESS," in another. Bart's punishments show the educational system to be hypocritical and uncaring. In a specific episode Bart & Lisa's play reverse roles. Teacher: Who knows of "old Hickory"? [Points at Lisa] you lisa. Lisa: I don't know, you.

Lisa's Teacher: If you had bothered to read your book, you would know, that Old hickory was the name of [look is the Teachers edition] 1634, I mean Andrew Jackson.

The teachers are further discrete when Lisa steals the Teacher's Edition book at the end of the day, they are shown in the teachers lobby chain smoking and nervous, because they don't know the answers themselves. This also shows the common reaction among students, who are belittled by hypocritical teachers

Aside from inept teachers, the entire school systems are a target of satire. Lisa basing her furture on her test results give up and beging to hang out woth the wron cvrowd and steal...
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