Responding to Society with Satire
Satirical essays are often written about controversial topics to try to persuade the reader to agree with the writer's point of view. However, unlike traditional persuasive essays where the writer takes a serious tone and talks about the true merits of his/her point of view, satirical essays are written sarcastically in order to mock and point out flaws in the opposing point of view. In a famous example, “Letter to a Royal Academy,” Ben Franklin jokingly suggests that scientists spend their time trying to find a way to make the smell of flatulence appealing. He does this to criticize scientists for wasting time on frivolous issues and ignoring more pressing ones. For this assignment, you are going to write your own satirical essay. Remember that while satire is supposed to be funny, its main point is not simply to crack jokes. Rather, a well-crafted satirical essay criticizes some aspect of society through the use of humor. If your satirical essay isn’t trying to persuade people to convert to your point of view, then it isn’t truly a satirical essay. Most satirical essays do one of two things:
1. “Spin”a societal problem or issue so it sounds like a good thing. 2. Pose a ridiculous solution to a problem.
In doing either of these things, the author is highlighting the severity of the problem, while at the same time, mocking individuals in the society who choose to ignore the problem or who want to solve it in a way the author disagrees with.
NOTE: All writing must be typed (Times New-Roman, 12 Pt) and double-spaced. If you have questions about how to do this, please ask.
Your satirical essay must be a minimum of two and a maximum of three pages long. Due to the relatively informal nature of the assignment, first-person pronouns can be used. You may write about any topic you choose. The following should spark some ideas:
Social issues like education, social class, the economy, abortion or...
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