Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Reading Period 14: Swift and Pope: Supplemental Post / Lessons

From our Google+ Community this week:

1. Reading “A Voyage to Lilliput,” do you think it’s possible to appreciate and understand the ridiculousness of the Lilliputian court without knowing exactly which British customs and specific politicians were being targeted? 

2. Do you think it is satire when Gulliver refers to England as “our noble country, the mistress of arts and arms, the scourge of France, the arbitress of Europe, the seat of virtue, piety, honor and truth, the pride and envy of the world”? How do you know whether this is sincere or presented as silly?

3. Weekend Challenge!: Tell someone that they are “the most pernicious race of odious little vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.” 

4. In A Modest Proposal, look at this line: “I grant this food will be somewhat dear, and therefore very proper for landlords, who, as they have already devoured most of the parents, seem to have the best title to the children.” This passage heaps satire on top of unfamiliar, archaic language -- anyone want to take a crack at a paraphrase?

5. Weekend challenge #2!: Watch a movie version of Gulliver's Travels. There's one from 1996 with Ted Danson, one from 2010 with Jack Black, and here's an animated one from 1939 for those of you who are brave enough to endure it: 

Here's a link to the YouTube video of the 1996 movie with Ted Danson, courtesy of Mary's search powers: Part 1 and Part 2.

In class, we looked at several examples of satire in our contemporary life.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a fabulous spoof, satire, exaggeration, send-up, and parody of some of the texts we have read in this class: Gawain and the Green Knight, Morte D'Arthur, and The Canterbury Tales. Here's the movie version of Monty Python and the Holy Grail and also the screenplay.

Here are four different opening sequences from The Simpsons, each targeting different objects of satire:

Opening Sequence designed by street artist Banksy, critiquing the Fox network's outsourcing of animation to Korea.

Opening Sequence designed by director Guillermo Del Toro, spoofing many many horror movie cliches.

The Simpsons spoofs Game of Thrones.

The Simpsons spoofs The Hobbit.

We talked about the four different types of satire: exaggeration, incongruity, reversal, and parody, and practiced finding examples of each.

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