Satire can be described as the use of irony, sarcasm or ridicule within literature. In this type of writing, human folly and vice are highlighted and held up to scorn, derision, or even ridicule. “A Modest Proposal”, written by pamphleteer, poet, and political satirist Jonathan Swift, addressed Ireland’s complex social, political, and economic problems. In this pamphlet, Swift use heavy satire and hard-edged economic reasoning to make his proposals for a new solution to the rapidly growing problems in Ireland’s economy. Swift’s use of satire to address the problems in Ireland in 1729 can be related to many present-day instances where people have tried to raise awareness regarding social, political and economic problems.
Satire helps expose issues such as injustices, hypocrisy, and tyranny in any given society. Injustices that otherwise may just go overlooked. In the famous book “The Canterbury Tales” by Geoffrey Chaucer, the author chose to use satire to parody different people’s lifestyles in an attempt to reveal the hypocrisies and injustices that plagued the society around him. Authors use satire, politicians use satire, and everyday people use satire to opens the minds of others to ideas they might otherwise reject outright using the emotional level of humor.
Satire is not the only way to raise awareness about heated political, economic or social issues. One method other than satire that can be used to raise awareness is consciousness raising, also known as awareness raising, where people literally focus their attention on the cause that needs help. Social media, press releases and word of mouth can also help the promotion of a cause. Holding fundraising events to raise money for a particular issue is yet another method to raise awareness for a particular cause or issue.