Remember, for our purposes satire is defined as a technique employed by writers to expose and criticize foolishness and corruption. Chesnutt uses satire as social criticism to targets injustice and disparity in institutions of power, including government, businesses, and even individuals.
The three overarching types of satire are:
- Menippean satire criticizes mental attitudes and ridicules character types, such as single- minded people, such as bigots, misers, and braggarts.
- Horatian satire is marked by joviality and hilarity although moralizing
- Juvenalian is austere, harsh, and often punitive in tone
- Which forms of satire are used in this story? Give examples using concrete examples from the text.
- What is the moral of the story?
- Are there examples in the story that you feel deserve a heavier or lighter hand to instill the point?
- Does this story use irony or sarcasm? Give examples using concrete examples from the text.
- What is the principle?
- What is the matter concerning the principle?
- Does this story demonstrate an indirect theme that the oppressed invariably becomes the oppressor?
- Is Alice a victim of her father’s principles? Why or why not?
- Jack led Mr. Clayton to believe that he had given the telegraph to the “darkey.” So, after all, can it be said that it was Mr. Clayton’s principles that bungled this whole thing?
- What is the attitude of the story toward the idea of racial superiority?
- What is the irony associated with the idea of racial superiority?