Kubrick's Use Of Satire In Dr Strangelove

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Stanley Kubrick’s Dr Strangelove satirises the cold war and the actions of politicians during times of worldwide fear. The characters General Jack Ripper and Buck Turgidson reflect the drastically absurd political mindset of America in the 1950’s and 60’s. Strangelove satirises the idea of Mutually Assured Destruction- the notion that a country having more nuclear weapons than their enemy and being able to cataclysmically destroy them, brings peace and safety. Strangelove communicates this through its ridiculous narrative. It comedically portrays a series of unfortunate events that lead to the extinction of the human race whilst also giving verisimilitude to the situation. Strangelove’s narrative is ridiculous yet plausible. Satire is integral in every scene. It creates…show more content…
“Satire is militant irony” (Frye, 1957), its purpose is to critique and ridicule to enact change. The persistent use of irony and absurdist humour in Strangelove is characteristic of a satirical film, so in this regard, Strangelove is a conventional piece of satire. The main source of comedy in Strangelove is the use of satirical irony. The line “gentlemen. you can't fight in here. this is the war room!” is trivialising politicians, even though they are absorb in war and power, actual conflicts would be a disaster. Or the visual comedy of the slogan “Peace is our profession” being on a billboard with multiple bullet holes in it due to the war that is taking place around being another example of the satirising of the American government. The theme of “Appearance vs Reality” in regards to how the American government want to be viewed contrasted to how they actually are, is significant throughout the film. I conducted a focus group with the intention of analysing how people react to satire by screening all 95 minutes of the film and I encouraged them to discuss their thoughts on the film
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