Paper 2 - Justin Shull Russian 0800 9/23/2007 Gogol's...

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Justin Shull Russian 0800 9/23/2007 Gogol’s Satirical Humor “You can't make up anything anymore. The world itself is a satire. All you're doing is recording it.” Art Buchwald (American Journalist, b.1925) America’s great satirist, Mark Twain, ripped open the ignorance of slavery and the American South during the 19 th century, using his biting sword of satire. In our opening quote, we are given a glimpse of satire and how it can be used to shine light on many of the negative facets of life and society using humor. Today, the effects of these satirical pioneers can still be seen in the news and in literature. Among these pioneers was a Russian writer named Nikolay Gogol. In his book Dead Souls, Gogol shapes the Russian world and societal problems using various humorous and satirical perspectives. Gogol takes us into the lives of various characters, including Chichikov, our main character who travels the Russian countryside in search of his so called “dead souls.” Through these journeys we are exposed to Gogol’s many methods of satire and humor, along with a style that runs of on nearly insane rants and digressions, many of which contain little if any humor. These ideas are perpetuated in the many people he meets on his journeys. Like his American counterpart, Mark Twain, he uses the people and ideas of the time to his advantage, exposing their flaws while satisfying the reader’s comical needs, including other sarcastic
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humor. We will also later examine these aspects of his literature in his short story, “The
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This note was uploaded on 04/19/2008 for the course RUSS 08000 taught by Professor Janeharris during the Spring '08 term at Pittsburgh.

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Paper 2 - Justin Shull Russian 0800 9/23/2007 Gogol's...

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