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What is Satire and how is it used in The Crucible? And is Satire the same as Irony?

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noconnectionwse | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted October 24, 2011 at 5:37 AM via web

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What is Satire and how is it used in The Crucible?

And is Satire the same as Irony?

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wannam | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted October 24, 2011 at 6:59 AM (Answer #2)

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Satire is not the same thing as irony. Satire uses irony, sarcasm, and other literary devices to make a point. In general, a satirical piece speaks of something ridiculous in a serious manner in order to make a point to society. The best example I can think of is A Modest Proposal by Johnathan Swift. In this piece, he proposes that rich people eat the babies of the poor in order to help control the population and support the less fortunate. Clearly, he isn't being serious. He is pointing out a problem by proposing a ridiculous solution that most people will find offensive enough to pay attention to. Irony is a "situation in which there is a sharp incongruity or discordance that goes beyond the simple and evident intention of words or actions." In the novel The Crucible, I think there is generally more irony than satire.  Perhaps we can see some example of satire in the reactions of the townspeople and the injustice in the trial process. Still, this work contains more example of irony, particularlly dramatic irony.

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