February 27, 2006

Satire in Argument

Posted in Irin Westerfield at 2:36 am by groupone

SATIRE IN ARGUMENT

SUBJECT CHOICE: THE SIMPSONS
02-26-06

The Simpsons is one of the most successful television programs of all time. The Simpsons is perhaps the best example of a television show that is driven by satire.

The show pokes fun at Americans and their lifestyles, mainly with the observations of Homer (and to a lesser extent, Bart).

A. HOW DOES A SATIRICAL ARGUMENT DIFFER FROM A NON-SATIRICAL ARGUMENT?

A satirical argument is not formal like something that would be heard in a classroom setting. Satire can be irreverent, impolite, and comical. Techniques such as sarcasm, stereotyping, exaggeration and incongruity are commonly employed.

B. WHAT TYPES OF APPEALS DOES A SATIRICAL AUTHOR MAKE TO A READER?

Satirical authors cut through pretense and reach the reader’s common sense. They do away with the armor of “political correctness” and present a subject in a self-depreciating way.

C. ARE SATIRICAL ARGUMENTS AS EFFECTIVE?

I would say “definitely yes” to this subjective question. Next I will expound on this with some examples from The Simpsons.

The character Homer Simpson has come to be described by critics as a satire of the American father by being both lovable and incorrigible. Homer’s wife Marge usually holds the views of “the politically correct citizen” which is contradictory. A good example was an episode where Bart and his sister Lisa were scheduled to compete in a hockey league championship game. Marge told the children that she loved them both and that they were not in competition with each other, family comes first. Homer, on the other hand, emotionally shouts to the kids that they are fighting for their parents love with this game. Homer, therefore, becomes the satire of the “bad” parent.

Side characters in the program become hilarious objects of satire. For example, policemen are doughnut-eating dummies on-the-take, politicians are slick and womanizing phonies, and physical education teachers are barely literate.

No groups are safe from satire, whether racial, ethnic, religious, or profession-based. Every group’s weaknesses are bared.

I believe that satire is a breath of fresh air. In a way, it’s a chance for us to vent our feelings. The Simpsons says things to our citizens that we wish we could say, but are afraid to.

Satire can also be informative to those being lampooned. Perhaps politicians, policemen, overzealous parents and others can become aware of how others really perceive them. All of this adds up to the conclusion that satire is an effective tool of argument.

 

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3 Comments »

  1. groupone said,

    Irene, I liked the way your format of satire was neat and precise. You did a good job of expressing what satire is and you gave some good examples to explain the meaning of the situations. Pam

  2. kamz said,

    hi could u tell me some satire stuff About family guy i need the info in about 3 hours time plz anyone

  3. kamz said,

    stuff this site stuff tue guy who wrote it i neeeded info on family guy u flop in 3 hrs its been over 3ooo hrs ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh


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