Satire refers to any writing, in poetry or prose, with the purpose to ridicule, censure(criticize unfavorably) and correct the vices, follies, stupidities and corruptions of the society, which threatened to be contrary to the maintenance of good moral order and literary discipline. The best and most representative works are found in those written by Pope and Swift, two masters of satire. Some Satire is meant to make us laugh at human foolishness and weaknesses; some satire is meant to make us angry about human vices and crimes. Satire can be aimed at humanity in general, Stereotyped groups, or a particular person.
There are some techniques :
-Exaggeration: To enlarge, increase, or represent something beyond normal bounds so that it becomes ridiculous and its faults can be seen. Caricature is the exaggeration of a physical feature or trait. Cartoons, especially political cartoons, provide extensive examples of caricature. Burlesque is the ridiculous exaggeration of language. Incongruity: To present things that are out of place or are absurd in relation to its surroundings.
- Parody: To imitate and ridicule the original.
- Reversal: To present the opposite of the normal order.
Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan’s best fictional work, was published in 1726. The book contains four parts, each dealing with one particular voyage during which Gulliver meets with extraordinary adventures. The parts are: A voyage to Liliput, Brobdingnag, The Flying Island of Laputa and Houyhnhnms. It is a severe attack on the political parties of the time and the religious controversies between different denominations within Christianity. Swift uses here mocking satire, social-political satire and allegory.
Swift’s Skill in Gulliver’s Travels
The first two parts are generally considered the best paired-up work. Here, man is observed from both ends of a telescope.
The exaggerated smallness in part 1 works just as effectively as the exaggerated largeness in part 2. The similarities between human beings and the Lilliputians and the contrast between the Brobdingan giants and human beings both bear reference to the possibilities of human state. Part 3 furthers the criticism of the western civilization and deals with false illusion about science, philosophy, history and immortality. The last part deals with a question: What on earth is a human being?