ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Perspectives On Modern Cultural Satire

Updated on November 12, 2015


Satire is defined basically as making fun or criticizing a subject through writing. It can be directed towards politics, society, culture, people and so on. There are also many ways and methods to use it such as irony, wit, sarcasm, criticism or mocking in which someone is held up for public scorn, derision, insult and ridicule.

A satire is a literary effort that attacks or pokes fun at vices, abuses, stupidity, and other faults. It may make the reader laugh or dislike the person or thing satirized. It also criticizes a subject through cleverly worded narratives and sometimes makes outrageous claims.

Satirists have always shared a common desire to reveal stupidity in all its forms. The success of satire lies in exaggeration and is usually intended to criticize. It most always takes on a humorous guise. So, the purpose of satire is seemingly to motivate readers to find solutions to the problem being deliberated.

Satire often combines anger and humor because it’s fundamentally ironic or sarcastic. Therefore, it is sometimes misunderstood. People will either love it or hate it depending on their individual circumstances. Say for instance a satirist pokes fun at a court ruling sentencing someone to a life in prison. The story may be very popular…except to someone serving life in prison. When it affects somebody personally, people are apt to be more sensitive about it.

Negative Responses

Common negative responses to satire have included revulsion, accusations of poor taste to the notion a writer actually supports the subject being attacked. And because satire criticizes in an offhanded, indirect way, it often evades censorship and evaluation more direct criticism might not.

However, sometimes satire comes into serious opposition, especially when the subject is about politics. Many politicians are extremely thin skinned when it comes to public criticism. Therefore they attempt to prosecute the author or censor their work. Although not satire, the recent attempts to shut down Fox News is a perfect example of this.

Numerous Complaints

Another example of a negative response was in 2001, when a British television network aired a story on current affairs intended to make fun of journalists and their seemingly endless fascination with pedophiles. The network received numerous complaints from viewers, outraged the show would mock such a serious subject.

Sometimes satire can be prophetic as when an article actually precedes an event. In the 1920s an English cartoonist proposed an absurd idea for the time…a hotel for cars. He drew a multi story parking garage, now a common sight.

And in 2004, ”The Onion”, a popular satirical newspaper, spoofed over marketing of multi blade razors with a humorous, fake article announcing the Gillette company would make a five-bladed razor. In 2006, it became a reality.

In the early 20th century, satire was used to make commentaries on the social changes taking place in Europe and the United States. A perfect example was the film “The Great Dictator” in 1940, by Charlie Chaplain’s characterization of Adolf Hitler. Many social critics of the time used satire as their main tool of choice.

In 1884, Mark Twain published “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” It was both humorous and serious using satire of man's cruelty to man, religious hypocrisy, Romanticism and superstition. The novel was amusing but more importantly it introduced the reader to social complexities of the era.

Political satirical cartoons are very fashionable today and often saturate newspapers and magazines. Political cartoons are mostly comprised of two facets, caricature, which lampoons an individual, and a situation. In a caricature an image is exaggerated and intended to be humorous. Political satire is probably the most popular humor.

Satire cartoons are often found in editorial sections of newspapers where they publicize important issues of the day hoping to improve social change. Satire cartoons are often aimed at famous public personalities whose actions significantly influence society.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • mylife=adventure profile image

      Casey Coulter 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin

      My opinion on Satire is its a creative way of showing your own personal opinion through comedy but your right that some satire isn't used correctly and is harmful more than helpful.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)