Use Of Satire In Mark Twain's 'Breaking Knees'

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Satire has tremendous power. People feel frustrated and annoyed when others directly criticize them. Nevertheless, satire is much more terrifying because it is a type of implicit criticism. In the meantime, satire can also be a thought-provoking humor which may make people laugh at first, but after they understand the underlying meaning of the satire, the laugh will be full of tears. This paper will demonstrate how authors use the language of satire to expose and criticize social issues in the society. Incongruity, exaggeration and parody are three means types of the language of satire. First of all, the author uses incongruity to satirize the corruption in Syrian society in the fourth story of the book Breaking Knees which is written by Zakaria…show more content…
In the story, “This is not a fancy sketch. I got it from a clergyman who was an instructor at Woolwich forty years ago, and who vouched for its truth. – M.T.” (Twain 323) This quote displays readers that Mark Twain virtually doesn’t trust what the Reverend told him. Also, “He went through on that purely superficial ‘cram’, and got compliments, too, while others, who knew a thousand times more than he, got plucked.” (325) This quote uses both exaggeration and incongruity because it exaggerates the stupidity of Scoresby; at the same time, it also contrasts the difference of conditions and results between Scoresby and other knowledgeable people, and this quote tells readers that the only reason why he passed this test because he was so lucky that the questions in the test are what he all knew. In the short story, “I said to myself, I am responsible to the country for this, and I must go along with him and protect the country against him as far as I can. In the article, “Well, sir, every one of them is a record of some shouting stupidity or other; and, taken together, they are proof that the very best thing in all this world that can befall a man is to be born lucky.” (328) This quote reveals that Reverend’s apparent aversion for the God seems controversial with his role as a clergyman. Through the whole story, readers can obviously feel the painful for the clergyman who has a deep resentment of God because he believes the god treats people unequally, and only lucky people can be successful. In the short story, readers can see that Scoresby and the clergyman joined the war together, but eventually Scoresby became a hero when the clergyman couldn’t accomplish anything in his lifetime. Therefore, his jealousy impels him to slander Scoresby to an immensely foolish person who made mistakes all the time. The

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