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Unformatted text preview: Slocum 1 Melanie Slocum Charlotte Strauwald 6 September 2007 Ancillary #3 On Being a Satirist “On Being an American” is H.L. Mencken’s satirical essay on American society in the 1920’s. The power of satire comes from the alteration of enemies into a source of entertainment; things are reduced into farce and made to seem deserving of mockery. Mencken’s way of showing people the truth is to attack what is false with ridicule. He tears apart the pedestal of American society merely by laughing at it, which is more effective than most writers who demand uproar of revolution and imprecation. Rather than dismissing America or treating it with an open disdain, Mencken publically responds with a sense of amusement. Even when stripped of its comedic attributes, Mencken’s essay can still be seen as offensive to many Americans. Towards the beginning of his essay, Mencken compares America to a young girl, which is not necessarily complimentary. “It is easy to excite them. It is easy to fool them. But it is very is not necessarily complimentary....
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- Fall '08
- Satire, H.L. Mencken, Mencken