Tired societal problems. Satire has the unique ability to

  Tired of grinding through long and boring articles or perplexing by complicated social commentary? By using wit to criticize the corruptions and providing fresh perspectives to the preposterousness and evils, satire is a more effective but easily and enjoyable way to confront public discourse and allow the author to speak without impunity. A successful satire requires two ingredients: a reproachable target and either wit that makes the reprimand clever or humor that makes it entertaining. As a mirror, satire demonstrates how ridicule the behavior is to the intended audiences and applies pressure on those who provoke the problem while making them laugh at themselves. Overall, satire is a mockery with a noble motive: an aspiration to expose flaws and raise awareness for the betterment of humanity.     Satire can be easily recognized in various artistic forms of expression but is hard to define. The classical definition of satire, “the use of humor, irony, or exaggeration to expose and criticize prevailing immorality or foolishness” (OED), comprises considerably broad features. The conjunction “or” indicates that satire often coincides with and depends on other literary devices, such as juxtaposition, parody, overstatement, and sarcasm, to help achieve the effects of arousing reader’s emotion towards the indifference. In A Modest Proposal, Johnathan Swift employs the elements of satire to bemoan the disastrous poverty causing by England’s economic policy and the inability of the Irish government. The concept of satire is usually interlinked with that of verbal irony, which is expressing the opposite of one actually means, but they are slightly different: satire is a genre, while irony is a tool to commentate the standpoint. For instance, Swift proficiently uses irony to convey Irish deserves better treatment than English: “I rather recommend buying the children alive, and dressing them hot from the knife, as we do roasting pigs” (248). If taken at surface level, Swift seems merciless and revolting by comparing Irish to animals; nevertheless, the absurdity is precisely his point. By ironically proposing a ludicrous solution, Swift not only mocks Irish’s failures but also makes his main point appallingly entertaining. Satire, through the use of irony and a number of other literary devices, creates a shock of recognition and challenges the powerful but still light-hearted for the audiences.     Satire has a more practical and pragmatic purpose than irony. The assessing criteria are fairly simple: must initial positive change and enlighten people’s thought. Pivotal to the satire is the appeal of “common sense” and the agreement in moral education. After carefully calculated statistics of population and nutritional information, Swift arrives at the grotesque that a one-year-old baby is “most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome… whether stewed, roasted, baked or boiled” (247). Disoriented; the simple principle is shared by all readers: selling and eating babies as another only kind of livestock is brutal so does eating Irish children. Thus, if the Irish children were not left to starve, something else has to be done. By suggesting human breeding helps the economic recovery, Swift renders the hypocrisy to all its disguise while alluding to recognizable societal problems. Satire has the unique ability to draw attention and invite readers to reflect that brings about social reform.    Satire, as a medley of honey and medicine, is crucial and the only fruitful technique in a hypocritical society, since no attention is paid for moralizers. Although presented in a skewed and comic way, satire does not restrain to expose only but exposes in a manner that will bring actions. Like all tactical weapons, satire must have an appropriate target, and the morality of intended audiences must lie on the same line. A well-written satire should not seek to do harm but to “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable” (Dunne). In short, satire employs irony to contrast between values and actions and correct or deter the vice that leads to improvement.