Irony and satire

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Irony and satire

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1jimroberts
juny 25, 2009, 11:19am

Some people use the tag irony and a lot use the tag satire. There are books which have been given both tags, but I don't know whether any got both tags from the same person.

My attitude to irony and satire is that I think that I recognise them when I see them, though I wouldn't like to have to explain how.

Do any of you who use one or more of these tags want to explain how you use them? Or indeed, would anyone who doesn't use them as tags like to explain how to recognise them and what the difference is? I know I could google around a bit and find out what the world at large or academia thinks, but I'm more interested in what members of the LT community think.

2reading_fox
juny 25, 2009, 11:29am

Isn't it obvious?

3reading_fox
juny 25, 2009, 11:30am

Would be irony. But Satire is a more complex depiction of a larger point that is slightly difficult to do in a short forum post

4LizzieD
juny 25, 2009, 11:31am

O.K. I'll take the beginnings of a stab at this. It's satire if the author has made his norm clear, whether directly or indirectly. I also think that satire is the dominant mode of the piece, whereas irony can be expressed in passing.
Like satire, irony can be gentle or tragic in character................
Go at it!

5jimroberts
juny 25, 2009, 12:22pm

#4: LizzieD "irony can be expressed in passing."

I see "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife." as irony, but the book as a whole as, if either, satire. Am I on the right track?

6readafew
juny 25, 2009, 12:36pm

5> that's how I look at them. a satire will generally refer to an entire work.

7infiniteletters
juny 25, 2009, 1:22pm

A satire is ironic. Irony is in a satire (and in other literary formats).

8LizzieD
Editat: juny 25, 2009, 1:39pm

#5 the quotation from Pride and Prejudice is ironic, or at least witty, because, by my little definition, the reader doesn't know what the author thinks a mother should be like, i.e. no norm has been established. As to whether *P&P* is satire, I'm not so sure. Elizabeth's concern to marry for love or not at all could be the norm, I guess. Isn't that funny? I had never considered the question before. So ---- what I'm feeling is that satire has a didactic element as it points out what people need to change. I don't get that I get that from J.A.

9jimroberts
Editat: juny 25, 2009, 2:04pm

While Mrs Bennett undoubtedly subscribes to the view that "a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife", I don't understand the opening sentence as an expression of her view, but as an ironically meant overstatement: the single young men in question, in particular, might often not subscribe to the view. (Though Mr Bingley might.) I don't see P&P as satire, because I don't see JA as severely critical of the social structure she describes, although she does sympathise strongly with the widows and young women (of her class) disadvantaged by it. I think I'm agreeing with "no norm has been established".

ETA: Consideration of individual cases which may, or may not, be seen as irony or satire, is presumably how I came, over decades, to think I recognise them when I see them: my mind functions in the same way as a modern spam filter :( ?

10jimroberts
juny 25, 2009, 2:07pm

#7: infiniteletters "A satire is ironic."

Is that always true? 1984 is satiric, is it not? But ironic?