Characteristics of Satire Examples

Characteristics of Satire

Remember that satire is a type of literature that seeks to point out human vice and foolishness by using humor. It takes a very serious issue and "pokes fun" at it to ridicule society.

Examples of Characteristics of Satire:

Most satire has the following characteristics in common:

  • Satire relies on humor to bring about social change. When our vices are made humorous, the idea is that it will encourage us to change.
  • Satire is most often implied. The reader has to pick up on the humor or he/she will miss the satirical nature of the writing.
  • Satire, most often, does not go over individual people. Instead, satire is directed at society as a whole, or types of people in society-the politician, the adulterer, the prideful, etc.
  • The wit and irony of the satire are exaggerated-it is in the exaggeration that people are made aware of their foolishness.

Satire relies on the following literary elements:



Comic Juxtaposition

Understatement and Diminution




Examples of Irony:

Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift

"A Modest Proposal," by Jonathan Swift

Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain

The Daily Show

Animal Farm, George Orwell

Related Links:
Literary Terms Examples
Literary Terms Examples for Kids