Examples of a Horation Satire in Literature

Using humor and wit as a means of social commentary has been used by writers for centuries. Horation satire is one method of accomplishing this. Unlike other forms of satire that take a more abrasive and sarcastic tone, Horation satire takes a more lighthearted approach an attempts to make us laugh at our own cultural inadequacies and vices.

"Gulliver's Travels" by Jonathan Swift

Written in the 18thcentury by Irish writer Jonathan Swift, "Gulliver's Travels" was intended to be a satire on the nature of man and what happens when man's pride grows too big for himself and is placed in a situation where he learns that -- although others around him are miniatured by his grandeur -- they may still be his equal. This is demonstrated when Gulliver wakes up and finds himself captive by a community of people less than six inches tall.

"Utopia" by Thomas More

Originally written in Latin, Thomas More's work "Utopia" takes place on an imaginary island. The story satirizes early European society. As a devout Catholic, More takes humorous jabs at topics of the 16th century, such as religious toleration, priests getting married, divorce and women entering the clergy.

"The Giver" by Lois Lowry

This is a children's story that revolves an old man who stores all the memories of his culture, realizing it is time for him to pass his memories onto a young boy. In the process, the boy learns that in order to accomplish this, he will forgo all feelings and memories of his family and friends. The satire here explores what it means to have freedom of choice and what really makes us feel safe.


You may say that the main purpose of any form of satire in literature is to invoke criticisms and in some cases, a slight aggression towards our culture and society. Horation satire strives to invoke criticisms in a less angered manner. It seeks to allow us the see some of the humor in our societal inadequacies.

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