AP Lang Satire Assignment
The genre of entertainment known as satire is characterized by the use of sarcasm, irony, and in some cases harsh analysis of facts to highlight the ridiculousness of current events or ideologies, to ridicule institutions, diminish the gravity of certain situations or events, to spread public awareness of events, and to point out fallacies in human nature.
The article "Photoshopped Galaxy Sets Unrealistic Standards for Young Interstellar Matter." from the University of Chicago’s satirical student paper The Chicago Shady Dealer addresses the current issue of many young girls’ self-image problems stemming from unrealistic expectations developed by the beauty industry. The article uses sarcasm as well as absurd stellar equivalents to real life beauty issues to highlight the ridiculousness and negative effects of these absurd expectations. Young galaxies are concerned that they don’t look like the fabricated, heavily Photoshopped, and color enhanced galaxies. Young gas clouds also attempt to “remove their dust” (Pantuck) in attempts to appear more like idealized galaxies, which fictional media specialist Stella Hoffman said is “totally ridiculous, I mean… they’re made of dust.” (Pantuck) The article even uses “Spiral Barbie Dolls” (Pantuck) and “Dwarf Barbie Dolls” (Pantuck) as stellar examples of the issue of the Barbie Doll imposing unrealistic beauty expectation on young girls. The article’s clever use of ridiculous astronomical equivalents to modern day beauty issues allows readers to really think about the effects of the beauty industries’ campaigns for “flawless” skin and so on in a fresh light; renewing the often over used “troubled teen” example with galaxies to catch the eye and make one think in a new way about the issues at hand, which is the purpose in essence of all satire.
Pantuck, Morgan. "Photo shopped Galaxy Sets Unrealistic Standards for Young Interstellar Matter." The Chicago Shady Dealer 1 Jan. 2014. The Chicago Shady Dealer. Web. 9 Jan. 2015. <http://www.chicagoshadydealer.com/articles/330-photoshopped-galaxy-sets-unrealistic-standards-for-young-interstellar-matter>.
In "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," Mark Twain uses satire to mock many different aspects of America at the time. Throughout his trip down the Mississippi, and even prior to leaving his home town of St. Petersburg, Huck encountered a variety of people and situations that are designed to scoff at the American people and way of life.
A major satirical event in the novel is when Huck spends time with the Grangerfords, who are feuding with the Shepardsons. The young Buck Grangerford, who Huck has become friends with, explains to Huck what a feud is. "Well," says Buck, "a feud is this way: A man has a quarrel with another man, and kills him; then that other man's brother kills HIM; then the other brothers, on both sides, goes for one another; then the COUSINS chip in—and by and by everybody's killed off, and there ain't no more feud. But it's kind of slow, and takes a long time." (Twain ch. 18 pg. 106) The conflict between the Grangerfords and the Shepardsons is satirical in nature because the participants of the feud cannot remember how it started. It is a ridiculous conflict, which is highlighted when they go to church to listen to a sermon is about brotherly love armed to the teeth, and on the way home comment on how good the sermon was, however their continuing feud clearly shows that they didn’t really get the point. Human’s talent for selectively ignoring lessons and to place the idea of “glory” above one’s life is shown profusely while Huck is staying with the Grangerfords. Buck Grangerford, despite being only about fourteen he wished to kill the Shepardsons for the glory and for the sake of the feud, he followed the examples of his brothers and cousins blindly and without question. This feud between the Grangerfords and the Shepardsons could symbolize the Civil War, and act as commentary on the ridiculousness of the bloodshed during that time, as well as the ridiculousness of the horrid institution the war was fought over. By using the feud, Twain highlights the ludicrousness of humanity’s affinity for starting violent conflicts for equally ludicrous and pointless reasons. In any case of satire in the novel Twain comments on the absurdity of human nature.