Difference Between Sarcasm and Satire

Sarcasm vs Satire

 

Sarcasm and Satire are two words that are often understood in the same sense though there is some difference between them. In literature, writers use sarcasm and satire as literary devices to entertain the reader as well as to convey different characteristics of those in their works of art. Sarcasm refers to the usage of irony to mock or convey contempt. Satire, on the other hand, can be understood as the usage of humor and irony to criticize and ridicule others. When paying attention to these definitions, one can say that these definitions look very much alike. This article attempts to provide an understanding of the two terms while emphasizing the differences between the two terms.

What is Sarcasm?

Sarcasm is an exhibition of playful attitude in analyzing someone’s behavior or approach to life. A person who engages in sarcasm is often called as sarcastic person. As a matter of fact, a sarcastic person involves in making statements that might hurt the feelings of others. This is because the person thinks that he is causing a humorous jab. Sarcastic persons are often looked upon as social misfits. Even in the day today conversations we all use sarcasm to mock the behavior of others. Through sarcasm, a person can give a complete different meaning to a statement. For an example, imagine a person who says, ‘Oh, that’s a nice dress’. One can interpret this as a compliment because the literal meaning hints that the person is genuinely praising the dress. But imagine that the dress looks absolutely hideous. Still the person makes the same comment. In such a situation, it is sarcasm. A satire is very much different to sarcasm.  Now let us understand what is meant by satire.

Difference Between Sarcasm and Satire- Sarcasm

What is Satire?

Satire is humorous in content. Satire often makes an attempt at establishing a constructive point or two. It aims at proving the absurdity of a given situation, political or social. This is primarily the reason satire was considered a primary method of criticizing the political and social situations by the poets of the yesteryear. Alexander Pope was a great satirist. It is interesting to note that a person who involves in satire either in writing or speaking is termed as satirist. A satirist mostly deals with the description of growing changes in lifestyle and social behavior. On the other hand, sarcasm deals with wit and hurting humor. Satirists are liked by one and all. The chief reason for the popularity of satirists over sarcastic people is that the satirist’s constructive attitude towards life and maintains friendship with everyone concerned. His only nature is to create humorous surroundings. On the other hand, a sarcastic person is often disliked by the people around him. Another important difference between sarcasm and satire is that sarcasm is considered a mental attitude, whereas satire is looked upon as creativity. Satirists are respected worldwide.

Difference Between Sarcasm and Satire- Satire

What is the Difference Between Sarcasm and Satire?

  • Sarcasm is an exhibition of playful attitude in analyzing someone’s behavior or approach to life, whereas Satire is humorous in content.
  • A satirist mostly deals with the description of growing changes in lifestyle and social behavior. On the other hand, sarcasm deals with wit and hurting humor.
  • Sarcastic persons are often looked upon as social misfits. On the other hand, satirists are liked by one and all.
  • Sarcasm is considered a mental attitude, whereas satire is looked upon as creativity.

Image Courtesy:

1.”Paris Tuileries Garden Facepalm statue” by Alex E. Proimos [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

2.”Dictator charlie6″ by Trailer screenshot – The Great Dictator trailer [Public Domain], via Wikimedia Commons