What do 'satire'  and 'foreshadowing' mean? They are literary terms and I can't find them any where.

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parkerlee eNotes educator| Certified Educator

satire - Irony, wit or sarcasm used to mock vice or folly; a literary genre wriitten to this intent. An example is Johnathan Swift's essay "A Modest Proposal" written in 1729 a century before the potato famine in Ireland:

I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee or a ragout.

foreshadowing - Literary device in which an object or event symbolises a forthcoming negative event, often tragic and irreversible. An example would be the ape-like face appearing in the fireplace before Herbert's death in W.W. Jacob's short story "The Monkey's Paw":

He sat alone in the darkness, gazing at the dying fire, and seeing faces in it. The last face was so horrible and so simian that he gazed at it in amazement. It got so vivid that, with a little uneasy laugh, he felt on the table for a glass containing a little water to throw over it. His hand grasped the monkey's paw, and with a little shiver he wiped his hand on his coat and went up to bed. 

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

While satire does ridicule the shortcomings of people or institutions, it does so in an attempt to bring about a change.  The example of Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" is an excellent one.  Swift's invective is against the British, whom he felt were killing the Irish in every other way, so he writes this outrageous proposal:  Just eat the babies.  Swift hopes to shock the British in order to effect a change.

In the seventeenth century, Moliere wrote satirical plays about the decadent French aristocrats, ridiculing their affected mannerisms and behavior in order to get them to see themselves objectively in the hopes of improvement.

Twain's "The Prince and the Pauper" is also another great example of satire as the young prince becomes a much better person after changing places with the poor boy, whom he at first considered such an inferior person.

cldbentley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Satire is a literary tool that writers use to criticize or make fun of the writing of others, societal behaviors, individuals, ideas, etc.  Often, satire is written using a tone of false kindness and concern or one of anger and bitterness.  Some might consider satirists to be "smart alecks"; they usually make their points without doing in a completely straight-forward manner.

Foreshadowing is an author's use of hints to suggest a future event.  Although the writer does not give specific information regarding the upcoming event, the reader is aware of an element of suspense.   Use of foreshadowing may help to keep the reader engaged in the story.


engtchr5 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mark Twain was a master of satire; that is, he used humor, irony, wit and occasional sarcasm to make fun of, or point out the inadequacies of, people or society in general.

Foreshadowing usually involves the use of symbols to give a hint of events to come. In Edgar Allan Poe's "Fall of the House of Usher," for instance, the reader is told that a fine fissure or crack existed in the house's frame or masonry itself. That "split" represented the coming division of the family, as by the end of the story, the Ushers have "fallen," and the family members become separated from one another.