intro to sarcasm/satire

My parents often remind me that they disapprove of my sarcastic nature. I wasn’t always like this, but my best friend is and I stole it from her because I think she’s the coolest person I know. I understand how my newer dry nature could negatively impact my social life at 20, but it attracts equally sarcastic and sardonic individuals into my life. This makes for a much more entertaining social circle, so I’m not really upset about it. Plus I have this really pitchy, pleasant voice that tends to make things sound significantly less cutting. It’s a gift and a curse, but it has been complicit in what likely is the development of the worst part of my personality. I continue to use sarcasm in my day to day life because I love it. It has also led to my interest in satire, more specifically political satire, so I would be very interested to try to do some satirical work of my own.

Satire is defined as being “ in which human or individual vices, follies, abuses, or shortcomings are held up to censure by means of ridicule, derision, burlesque, irony, parody, caricature, or other methods, sometimes with an intent to inspire social reform. ” The appeal of satire stems from its wit, irony, and its ability to make fun of the obvious. I have a preference for political satire because I think it makes a lot of awful topics significantly more digestible. I think sarcasm/satire would be one a few formats fit for telling the story of my past roommate experiences. They are painfully humorous–at my own expense, not that of others–so I think this genre would allow me to make fun of the obvious and mock some weird conventions that the people I have lived with over the years have subscribed to. I would make use of the Horatian school of satire because it is lighthearted and that is exactly the type of story I would like to tell. In describing my former living situations, my intent is to make people laugh as opposed to a critique of my former roommates. I want it to be a more wholesome story.

My living situation worked out eventually, but it was a rough journey. Making fun of the journey that finally got me here would be enjoyable and a great way to reminisce as an upperclassmen.

I think one of the examples that come to mind when I think of this genre is The Onion: I used to find no interest in making light of issues that tend to be offensive or upsetting, but I have found some merit in it as a coping mechanism. Similarly, many of my favorite pieces from this genre actually come from other websites like Reductress, like this one:

My intent isn’t to ridicule my former roommate’s for their character, but to poke fun at some odd situations I’ve found myself in throughout the years. I’ve had 11 roommates so far, all of whom have had various quirks: I had a roommate who enjoyed waxing people for free, which meant that I often walked into my apartment only to see a naked stranger and various hairy wax strips on the floor or the roommate I had who was using my face mask to cure a rash on her butt. They were never bad people, just strange. I’d just like to make light of some fun memories that I have.

They always make for a good story at the dinner table so why not try it for academia.

3 thoughts to “intro to sarcasm/satire”

  1. I really like how you introduce your interest in satire. I’m doing the same genre and relate to this since a lot of my own personal humor is very dry (aka, why I love reading satire so much). Since I’ve done some of my own research on satire, I’m familiar with the Horaitan model and I think it makes sense to use in your case since you are talking about an individual. I think harsh satire when used about a person could come off as a little strong and mean, so making it playful is definitely smart on your side! For my satire I’m talking about issues with an institution, so I can’t really offend anyone personally – I think I can use the Menippean model to be a little harsh.

    I haven’t read Redructress articles so I will definitely check that out for mine. An interesting source you could use is the New Yorker cartoons (they also have a cool Instagram account they post them on) because a lot of these are short jabs at politics. I like them, and think they fit well into satire.

    I think it would be helpful to define and separate the different models of satire since some people reading may not know the difference (I should do this too). I also thought it was effective in my piece to highlight how satire makes you feel and think, and connecting that to the significance of using satire for your origin piece!

    Good luck 🙂

  2. I really enjoyed reading your post. Your interest in political satire mirrors my own, and your perspective in your writing makes it seem that you’ll be good at writing in this genre. I’m curious about the Horatian school of satire that you mentioned; I want to know more about the different philosophies of writing satire and how they apply to different people and genres. How were these styles developed? What were they used for? How do they apply for modern writers? It seems like there’s a lot to explore here that could be really cool. Thanks for introducing us to these interesting concepts.

  3. Hey Tatiyana,
    I enjoyed your introduction on how you developed your sarcastic nature, it was a cool introduction to read! I liked how you included the definition of the satire genre. I am familiar with the genre, but never knew the definition! I totally agree with how sarcasm and satire could coincide with telling a story of your roommate experiences, as I have had multiple roommates over the last few years and could already think of some funny stories myself! I would love to hear more of yours! I really liked reading about your writing plan, and I am very excited to see how this turns out! I think in life, as you said, it is important to “make light of some fun memories.” 🙂

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