By Peace Osemwengie
Satire is a technique employed by writers to expose and criticize the foolishness and corruption of an individual or a society. It often employs devices such as irony, humor and exaggeration. A satire may point towards political, religious, and social issues. In writing, it is a comical piece that makes fun of individuals and the society, often with the aim of exposing their stupidity and shortcomings.
There are three different kinds of satire:
Horatian satire is comic and offers light social commentary. It pokes fun at a person or situation. A good example is Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift.
Juvenalian satire is dark, contemptuous, and abrasive. It is opposed to the comedic and is meant to speak truth to power. It uses strong irony and sarcasm and is often directed towards politics. Animal Farm by George Orwell is a classic example of this kind of satire.
Menippean satire criticizes mental attitudes and particular beliefs. It may be light like Horatian satire or may be as ruthless and unforgiving as Juvenalian satire. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll is perhaps one of the best examples of this satire form.
Before you write a satire, ensure that you have a strong opinion about the issue you want to satirize. Satires require a through knowledge of the case subject and enough wit to sink the Titanic, lol.
Also, a satire is never complete without the following literary devices and elements: irony, hyperbole, understatement, and allegory. The satirist must also employ justaxposition, analogy, parody and double entendres to highlight their barbs.
Like with every form of writing, one must put in the hours required to write the perfect satire. And one must also read satires to gain an all encompassing knowledge of the form.