Butt of the Satire

ENGLISH 9 – Mr. Smith
A parody is a humorous imitation of
a (usually) serious piece of writing.
Often people call it a ‘takeoff’
because the writer borrows the
form or the topic of a well-known
work and copies it in a funny way.
Also commonly referred to as a ‘spoof.’
The original work can be in any
form; everything is an acceptable
target for parody.
Something about the re-imagining
of the original evokes a humorous
response from the reader.
What is a satire?
The literary technique of ridiculing a human or
government action or vice with biting wit,
irony, or sarcasm in order to expose or correct
 The object of satire – known as the butt of the satire
– is usually some human frailty; people, institutions,
ideas, obsessions, and things are all fair game for
The key is that a satire wants to EFFECT
CHANGE in the world.
 A PARODY simply wants to ‘borrow’ the fame of it’s
source and/or make fun of it.
A satire usually achieves this effect by going to
an extreme degree of exaggeration (or
 If a satirist (one who writes satires) can elicit an
emotional response from his or her reader, he can
get them to listen to a more reasonable suggestion…
A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift, 1729.
I have been assured by a very knowing American of my
acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed
is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome
food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no
doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee or a ragout.
…[children] at a year old, be offered in the sale to the persons of
quality and fortune through the kingdom; […] A child will make
two dishes at an entertainment for friends; and when the family
dines alone, the fore or hind quarter will make a reasonable
dish, and seasoned with a little pepper or salt will be very good
boiled on the fourth day, especially in winter.
The Simpsons – Homer tries to buy a gun.
Butt of the Satire:
 American gun registry laws.
Satire’s Comment:
 That while some people feel that America’s gun registry laws
are too strict, they are in fact ineffective.
An Inconvenient Truth – “None Like It Hot!”
Butt of the Satire:
 “America’s handsomest politicians…”
Satire’s Comment:
 That a cheap, quick fix solution will not solve the problem of
global warming.
UCB Comedy
– “BP Spills Coffee”
Butt of the Satire:
 BP’s CEOs and whoever
else is responsible for dealing
with the Gulf Oil spill…
Satire’s Comment:
 That REAL solutions are needed from REAL leaders. This is a
major ecological disaster, requiring significant efforts to
contain and clean; neither a ‘quick-fix’ nor serendipitous
solution will work.
Butt of the Satire:
 We, the people of the
western world,
specifically those
obsessed with popular
Satire’s Comment:
 That in order to make an issue known to the world, it
must be presented in a weakly sensational, frivolous
way, which is immoral and inhumane.
Butt of the Satire:
 People who are critical of
video games and the video
game industry.
Satire’s Comment:
 That it is ridiculous to assume
that video games alone are
responsible for corrupting youth.
Parents play a significant role in
the upbringing of a child, and if they
are allowing their children to play
video games without supervision,
the fault is their own.
Watch the following television show and answer the
following questions:
Choose ONE person, place, product, societal
convention (etc.) that is the target of satire in this
In a MINIMUM of FIVE sentences
discuss the comment being made about
your selected target.