Genre tips

#AtoZChallenge: Genres–Satire

The A to Z Challenge asks bloggers to post 26 articles on a themed topic. It’s supposed to be every day except Sundays during the month of April but I found this way too busy and decided to post mine ‘about’ once a month. Yes, it’ll take me a couple of years. Sigh.

My topic, like the last two times I did the conventional approach, will be writing genres.

This genre:



authors ridicule vices, follies, abuses and shortcomings with the intent of shaming those involved into improvement

Tipsa to z

  1. Most writers of satire use humor to make their point but it’s not required.
  2. Use implication rather than making a direct point.
  3. Use exaggeration to make your point. Don’t be afraid to exaggerate.
  4. Satire relies on literary elements such as irony, malapropism, juxtaposition, understatement, diminution, metaphor, and parody.
  5. Take a serious issue and poke fun at it to ridicule society.
  6. Your goal is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.
  7. Your humorous writing should foster feelings of aggression, annoyance, even panic against the target of your satire.
  8. Language should be vivid and punchy.
  9. Make the normal appear abnormal and vice versa.
  10. Flip things on their head and subvert them.

Popular Media

  1. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain–included examples of satire
  2. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
  3. A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift
  4. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  5. 1984 by George Orwell
  6. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
  7. The Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope

Click for complete list of these 26 genres

Click for a complete list of all genres I’ve written about

@AtoZChallenge #atozchallenge

More S Genres:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Against All Odds, Summer 2020. 

55 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge: Genres–Satire

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  4. Hi Jacqui – I’d have to say I’d have never have put those books into the satire topic … how very interesting! I can be satirical … but usually with friends or colleagues I know – and thus don’t upset them! Interesting to say the least – all the best Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Another great satirist: Evelyn Waugh! I tend toward the more lighthearted satirical works, like Catch-22 and A Confederacy of Dunces.

    I haven’t read Jonathan Swift. May have to give him a try…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like your approach, Ankur. Using humor, you take aim at fairly faceless folks. We might see resemblances to people we know but it’s disguised. Satire here in America, thanks to politics, has gotten way out of hand and as a result, soured my interest in it.

      Way back, I do remember enjoying it for just the reasons you mentioned. And the Mark Twain book–that is perfect humor.


  6. The eldest Barbarian just studied 1984 at school. I hadn’t read it before so I flicked through, reading chunks here and there. Not my kinda book (nor his – he’s a voracious reader but he struggled with this one).

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ah, I see you have A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift on your lift, Jacqui. This is the essay that immediately came to my mind when I read this. Have you read it? I have never forgotten it because of his proposal to bake, boil, stew or roast the babies. I read this when I was 13 and I’ve never, ever forgotten it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Two of my favorites: Catch 22 by Joseph Heller and A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. I’ve often found that negative reviews are from those who don’t understand the function of satire. You can’t be thin skinned reading satire.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. This genre sounds right up my alley. Not to write (although I enjoy being sarcastic at times) but to read. It’s a genius way to make a point! “Your goal is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” I love that description. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • You do–smart and on top of topics. I have to say I don’t like it. Even when it leans in favor of my opinions, I don’t like having fun at someone else’s expense. I am in a tiny little minority, though!

      Liked by 2 people

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