Social shortcomings are ridiculed. The intentions of satire

Social satire is a style of conveying ideas through mediums such as literature and the performing arts, in which vices, follies, and shortcomings are ridiculed. The intentions of satire are displayed in many forms which include shaming an individual, corporation, or society itself into improvement. Satire is often times an exposition of the foolishness of humans, organizations, as well as governments, through the use of sarcasm and irony, with the intention of drawing awareness to social or political change. In literature, there are three distinct types of social satire: Horatian, Juvenalian and Menippean satire. We will first be taking a look at social satire, and to make this presentation relevant to our course studies, we are going to start by outlining the various ways that social satire is used in the novel that we are studying, Pride and Prejudice. As we progress further into the presentation we will discuss the different types of satire as well as the ways that they are relevant in contemporary, and modern day society. Jane Austen presents satire in Pride and Prejudice by first exposing the foolishness in the society in which she lives. This is represented through Elizabeth’s disbelief in marrying for the sole purpose of money, as well as marriage being seen as a duty. Austen seems to share her own opinions on social expectations relating to marriage through her main character, Elizabeth.    Different types of satire: As mentioned before, there are three different types of satire in literature. The first type of satire, Horatian Satire, is a derivative of the name of the Greek satirist Quintus Horatius Flaccus, and in more simpler terms, Horace. This type of satire emphasizes the follies and controversies of the human condition, by using humor and mockery to ridiculise societal norms. It is meant to evoke laughter at the human condition, and even have the audience or reader laugh at themselves, for the behaviours that they, themselves, may do everyday. We are going to discuss Horatian satire more in depth, as it is the form of satire that is most prominent in Pride and Prejudice. Horatian satire is prominent in Austen’s novel, because she does not attack people directly or in a mean spirited manner; rather, she indulges in the subtleness of irony and sarcasm in order to evoke a humorous and more light-hearted sense of satire, for example: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife” (Austen 1). From the first sentence of the novel, Austen makes a strong satirical statement; furthermore, making the reader aware of the fact that the novel is most likely going to follow suit with that form of satire. At the time, as we are aware, marriage was a constitutional abidance which served to ensure financial stability and familial heritage, and Austen implies that the novel is going to make a mockery of the foolishness of marriage expectations, and she implicitly ridicules early nineteenth century societal standards. This relates directly to Horatian satire as because Austen points out facts, such as the idea that a wealthy man clearly needs a woman, and words them in such a way that the reader can interpret that she is mocking the notion that a woman should be submissive to the blessing of a man with a fortune. Austen also develops her character’s to represent Horatian satire. The character Mr. Collins is example of the way that Austen uses satire to mock the social status of this time period, as he is a character who is quite full of himself. Despite Austen’s description of him as being ‘a conceited, pompous, narrow-minded, silly man’ (Austen 105), Mr. Collins still seems to believe that he is God’s gift to women. The sisters in the novel are aware of the impression that Mr. Collins renders himself better than them as a result of his social status, and the reader is also aware of this perception of Mr. Collins, the only one who is seemingly unaware of it, is Mr. Collins himself. His character stands to ridicule what was then, a patriarchal society, and is just another way that Jane Austen incorporates Horatian satire into her novel. The second form of satire is Juvenalian satire. Derived from the works of the Roman satirist, Juvenal, the goal of Juvenalian satire is to attack institutions through methods such as irony and sarcasm, which strongly opposes the idea of Horatian satire. For this form of satire, we are going to incorporate examples that are relevant to today’s society. These examples can be found in newspaper in the comic section, there are many comics about Donald Trump (image will be shown on powerpoint). Also satires are shown in popular literature such as The adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, The rape of the lock by Alexander Pope and Gulliver Travels by Jonathan Finn. Quotes from the literature include “what’s the use you learning to do right, when it’s troublesome to do right and isn’t no trouble to do wrong, and the wages is just the same?” from The adventures of Huckleberry Finn chapter 16, “Whether the nymph shall break Diana’s law, or some frail china jar receive a flaw, or stain her honor, or her new brocade…” from the rape of the lock by Alexander Pope and “…that for above seventy Moons past there have been two struggling Parties in this Empire, under the Names of Tramecksan and Slamecksan from the high and low Heels on their shoes, by which they distinguish themselves.” from Gulliver Travels by Jonathan Swift.


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