Monday, September 26, 2005

Satire - Is it worth the Effort?

“Satire, it is said is the food of the intellectuals. He who does it with élan is fit to be called the king of writers”. I believe that if you want to be a good satirist, you should be extremely sensitive to the societal issues and take a strong view on the matters. One might then think that these are the matters of the heart but it is the head which has to conjure up the trick which can captivate the audience. One of the notable features of a successful satirist, I believe, is to throw an unsuspecting character in the midst of the various social happenings. This enables the writer to play up his imagination to an extent where the character is vexed with the system which he himself may have devised.

Such can be appreciably seen in one of Mark Twain’s famous satire “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court”. A 19th century Yankee from Connecticut is magically transported into King Arthur’s time. In this utopian court, he comes face to face with issues which he might have left unnoticed in his time. A sort of shock-therapy, I guess. The subtlety of Mark Twain in constructing his characters in a utopian society into which he could plant the social stigmas of his time is something which differentiates him from other writers of his time.


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