For your review of this unit, recall what you have learned about satirical devices. How do satirists
use humor to critique their societies? Write in your journal for five minutes. Name all of the devices
you can remember.
Now, you will have a look at some popular examples of modern satire. All of these parody (imitate)
the news. The content of each should not be the focus of your review, but identifying how the
satirist uses humor to create a criticism.
A few disclaimers:
1) You might notice that a lot of political satire leans to the left. Because the purpose of satire is to
criticize the status quo, satirists will usually be the progressives (liberals) commenting on the
establishment (conservatism). This is not always the case, as satirists will generally poke fun at
whatever around them is absurd, but be prepared for this phenomenon.
2) Also, remember that a lot of satire uses shock value to make its point. Swift horrified us all by
suggesting that we eat newborn children as a solution to poverty. Thus, you will likely see shocking
language or other material. Approach this as an objective academic studying an important literary
genre. How do graphic or offensive words or topics help make the writer's point?
Explore these modern satires. Find at least three clips or articles to review. (You may find one
alternative source to use for one clip or article. If you do, include a link in your journal.) Be sure to
review the articles under Articles to Review.
The Onion http://www.theonion.com/section/politics/?ref=auto
Jon Stewart and the Daily Show http://thedailyshow.cc.com /
Stephen Colbert and the Colbert Report http://thecolbertreport.cc.com/
Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live
Respond in your journal: Summarize the three clips or articles you viewed. What was the topic of the
satire? What satirical devices does it use?
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