Discuss the use of satire in the movie, Election.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that the use of satire is deliberate in Payne's film.  It helps to bring out how politics can be used by so many as a means to an end and not as an end in its own right.  Satire is evident in the character of Tracy Flick, herself.  She is both central character and satirical force that enables the ultra competitive realm of high school to be examined and questioned.  Mr. McAllister's character is also tinged with satire.  The depiction of the seemingly interested and involved teacher only to mask failure in his personal life is part of this satire, suggesting again the presence of teachers who use their professional lives as means to ends as opposed to a direct end in their own life.  The culture of American high school is also satirized with the discussion of how social differences can be forgotten by the reality of a high school election and the illusory nature of power evident in such a position.  The film's entire take on a school election for class president is satirized as featuring elements of a "real" political campaign, suggesting that there might be, sadly enough, little difference between both realms.


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