Satire employs derision and wit to criticize people’s shortcomings and vices. Skillful satiric writers often compose sentences that unfold like jokes, with surprising “punch lines” at the end. The sentence initially seems harmless, but in the end, it delivers a harsh, stinging criticism.
Analyze each of the following model satiric sentences carefully. Think about how they work and how they manipulate their readers. Then, write at least THREE creative imitations of each sentence using the same fundamental structure in your own original sentence.
“Last week I saw a woman flayed, and you will hardly believe how much it altered her person for the worse.”
— Jonathan Swift
“Although a dirty campaign was widely predicted, for the most part the politicians contented themselves with insults and lies.”
— Julian Barnes
“And we must at all costs avoid over-simplification, which one might be tempted to call the occupational disease of philosophers if it were not their occupation.”
— J. L. Austin
Download: Satiric Sentences