31 January 2018
Elements of Satire
Elements of satire is used in many different works of literature. One of them being foolishness or vice in humans, organizations, or even governments. It uses sarcasm, ridicule, and or irony. Have you ever stopped and thought of how governments don’t take peoples thoughts in, and only do what is best for them? Have you find yourself wanting something, saving up for that something, but then still realize your life is not precious. Well, in the book Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, you encounter many of these humorous situations.
Douglas Adams, uses a lot of elements of satire, while they could be funny at the moment, they often do have messages that are hidden behind the humor. I will be listing Adams top three satirical elements, and try to discover the meaning behind the jokes that were made. The first one I will be talking about is how Adams portrays money and people’s emotions.
Satire first starts a couple of pages into the book. The first satirical element that Adams portrays in his book, is tiny green pieces of paper, that made a lot of people living on this earth unhappy. This tiny green pieces of paper, were called money. Adams talks about how this paper made people’s happiness and their lives. He then goes on to say that “even the people with money are still not satisfied with what they have, nor do they ever think they have enough of the little green papers”.
Adams example for this in the book says that even people with digital watches, (it was a nice status to have that type of watch at the time of the book being published) were not happy with their lives even with them. As I read more into the book, I found that not only are humans affected by little green paper’s power, but so do many of the other planets and the beings that inhabit them. The main example that I found that shows how the money affects the universe, is how the planet of Magrathea, once being the wealthiest planet in the universe had disappeared when the economy collapsed.
Although later in the book I came to find out that the people of Magrathe, didn’t really care, and rather slept through the economic times until they were able to start working again without the penalties of a bad economy. I think that Adams was trying to say that people should worry less about insignificant pieces of paper and focus on the greater things in life. Although I think that some of the lives in the planets in the book see themselves as much greater beings that man, they do find themselves in some of the same circumstances that earth faces. I think that’s what Adams enjoys, he brings issues that our world faces today, and puts them into planets like Magrathe, and just explains why its bad, and how to resolve it. In a way that doesn’t make him a guy that hates the earth.