Satire: Family Guy and Art Spiegelman Essay

Submitted By iactuallyamsmart
Words: 1139
Pages: 5

“How Have Composers Used Satire to Demonstrate Flaws In Our Society?”
Art Spiegelman uses a range of satirical techniques though out his graphical novel ‘Maus’ to demonstrate the flaws in our society. In his graphic novel, he employs satirical techniques, juxtaposition, hyperbole, irony and sarcasm from his fathers perspective to illustrate the horrors of the Holocaust. Spiegelman points the finger squarely at the roles different races played to expose the flaws in our society such as greed, slaughter, racism and power. Seth MacFarlane’s episode of Family Guy called “The Hand That Rocks The Wheelchair”, is an animated comedy made to entertain people, using a variety of satirical techniques, to expose the flaws in society such as inhumanity, prejudicial and deception.
Art Spiegelman employs Anthropomorphism to expose behaviours that aren’t necessarily viewed in a favourable light in our society. In ‘Maus’ he uses animals to depict humans, for example, The Jewish people are depicted as mice in order to satirize the German portrayal of Jewish people as Vermin. However, by using mice to depict this group, the author also shows the groups resourcefulness. The Nazis are depicted as cats, the natural predator of mice and thereby the Nazis are the natural predator of the Jewish people. The animals used are supposed to give a harsh reality check as to the failings of each group as well as a more mild hailing of their strengths. The idea behind this thought is that stereotypes are based on some measure of truth and because of this, those used in the book will hold up throughout time.
Seth MacFarlane contrasts inversion to point out the flaws in society. Inversion is seen when Stewie who is a baby, assembles a gun and points it towards a toddler, and attempts to shoot him but the gun explodes, and Stewie is left on the ground. Stewie than tells Brian who is a dog that he is just a kid, and he’s still learning what shapes and how to use the toilet. This becomes inversion because Stewie being a baby knows how to use a gun at such a long age, and is still learning common sense that a baby would need. It’s also inversion because Brian who is a dog is able to speak, and has human traits. Macfarlane points out the flaw in American society by showing that with US gun laws children are more likely to be grown up learning the use of guns, rather than common sense.
‘Maus also does an excellent job of exposing social and moral wrongs though the use of ridicule. Vladek is presented as a hypochondriac because of how much he focuses on his own health. He exaggerates everything, subsequently he always seems to have something wrong with him, “Cough, please stop with the smoking, it is making me short of breath.” Through the use of ridicule it mocks us today, as we will feel slightly ill and will go to the doctors and get medication. It’s a real comment on humans exaggerated behaviours and their dependence on doctors and medicine in a modern world.
Hyperbole is used in the same episode to show “Clone Stewie”, as a crazy violent baby. This is shown in the scene where Clone Stewie rips of Brian’s tail, and places it in Stewie’s mouth. Hyperbole is then used to show Stewie, and show how it is exaggerated because it is impossible to throw up like Stewie did. Then Clone Stewie again shows hyperbole when he runs in front of a woman’s car, then the women of course gets out to help clone Stewie but he cuts the women in half with a sword, sawing through her bone, easily. This technique uses humour, and introduces Clone Stewie. It also shows that Clone Stewie will be hard to defeat. Macfarlane shows the flaws in society by using hyperbole to show that you can’t always trust people, because they are not always who they seem.
The character Vladek is a caricature of an old Jewish man who typically speaks in a Jewish way. “ I’oy Artie, why? Such as tragedy! And not even a note!!!” His characteristics are magnified also the illustration had made him look…