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Satire is the use of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.
It can also be explained as:
-a way of criticizing people or ideas in a humorous way, especially in order to make a political point, or a piece of writing that uses this style.
-a technique employed by writers to expose and criticize foolishness and corruption of an individual or a society, by using humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule. It intends to improve humanity by criticizing its follies and foibles. A writer in a satire uses fictional characters, which stand for real people, to expose and condemn their corruption.
-a literary device of writing which principally ridicules its subject often as an intended means of provoking or preventing change.
-criticizing something wrong using humour or exaggeration. It is expected that as the reader or audience laughs, they can learn something and correct the wrong.
-the way of using humour to show that someone or something is foolish, weak or bad.
-an art that ridicules a specific topic in order to provoke readers into changing their opinion of it. By attacking what they see as human folly, satirists usually imply their own opinions on how the thing being attacked can be remedied.
-a presentation of human folly (weaknesses) in a light, humourous or ridiculous way. Satire involves the treatment of serious societal issues in a comical way.
A writer may point a satire toward a person, a country, or even the entire world. Usually, a satire is a comical piece of writing which makes fun of an individual or a society, to expose its stupidity and shortcomings. In addition, he hopes that those he criticizes will improve their characters by overcoming their weaknesses.
For instance, the narrator in Things Fall Apart says: “He always said that whenever he saw a dead man’s mouth, he saw the folly of not eating what one had in one’s lifetime.” This is a rebuke to the lazy. We laugh as we read because we know Unoka was a debtor, therefore he and his family never had enough to eat. This is clearly stated in Chapter One, thus: “He was poor and his wife and children had barely enough to eat.” Achebe is basically saying that if you want the good life you must work hard and earn it.
Animal Farm is a satirical novel in which Orwell attacks what he saw as some of the prominent follies of his time, like communism in Russian.
Examples from A man of the People by Chinua Achebe
-When Chief Nanga admits that he does not know the meaning of book exhibition, as in: “Book exhibition?
– When Chief Nanga tells Odili that he can bring him six girls and Odili will have sex with them till he gets tired, as in: “If you like can bring you six girls this evening”
– When Odili rides a bicycle (with Edna) and fail to breathe properly so when he is told something he puffs out the question, why?
– When Chief Nanga says Julio has composed a song instead of a book, as in: “I believe Mr. Julio himself has composed a brilliant song called…erm… what is it called again?”
– When Chief Koko discovers that the coffee was not poisonous and Chief Nanga starts teasing him, as in: “But S.I you fear death…”