Is "A Worker Reads History" by Bertolt Brecht a satirical poem? If so, what does it criticize and what creates the satirical effect?

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As your teacher's question to you was originally worded it assumed that this Brecht poem is satire. Let's look for a moment at the definition and an explanation of satire.

satire noun
    the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues. (Oxford Dictionaries, online)

The purpose of satire is to ridicule a person, social convention, group of people, or practice.

Ridicule can be mild such as that used by Oscar Wilde in his very humorus play, The Importance of Being Ernest, which also heavily employs irony and exaggeration.

The tools of satire employed to achieve ridicule are humor, caustic wit, exaggeration, sarcasm, and/or irony (one or more may be used, though more than one is often employed).

Ridicule can be stronger such as in the caustic, sarcastic ridicule of Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal," which uses sarcasm and extraordinary exaggeration to make a caustic point about...

(The entire section contains 701 words.)

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