1) Being told I would be expected to talk here, I inquired what sort of talk I ought to make. They said it should be something suitable to youth–something didactic, instructive, or something in the nature of good advice. Very well. I have a few things in my mind which I have often longed to say for the instruction of the young; for it is in one’s tender early years that such things will best take root and be most enduring and most valuable. First, then. I will say to you my young friends–and I say it beseechingly, urgingly–
2) Always obey your parents, when they are present. This is the best policy in the long run because if you don’t, they will make you. Most parents think they know better than you do, and you can generally make more by humoring that superstition than you can by acting on your own better judgment.
3) Be respectful to your superiors, if you have any, also to strangers, and sometimes to others. If a person offends you and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures; simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick. That will be sufficient. If you shall find that he had not intended any offense, come out frankly and confess yourself in the wrong when you struck him; acknowledge it like a man and say you didn’t mean to. Yes, always avoid violence; in this age of charity and kindliness, the time has gone by for such things. Leave dynamite to the low and unrefined.
4) Now as to the matter of lying. You want to be very careful about lying; otherwise you are nearly sure to get caught. Once caught, you can never again be in the eyes to the good and the pure, what you were before. Many a young person has injured himself permanently through a single clumsy and ill finished lie, the result of carelessness born of incomplete training. Some authorities hold that the young ought not to lie at all. That of course, is putting it rather stronger than necessary; still while I cannot go quite so far as that, I do maintain, and I believe I am right, that the young ought to be temperate in the use of this great art until practice and experience shall give them that confidence, elegance, and precision which alone can make the accomplishment graceful and profitable. Patience, diligence, painstaking attention to detail–these are requirements; these in time, will make the student perfect; upon these only, may he rely as the sure foundation for future eminence…A final word: begin your practice of this gracious and beautiful art early–begin now. If I had begun earlier, I could have learned how.
5) But I have said enough. I hope you will treasure up the instructions which I have given you, and make them a guide to your feet and a light to your understanding. Build your character thoughtfully and painstakingly upon these precepts, and by and by, when you have got it built, you will be surprised and gratified to see how nicely and sharply it resembles everybody else’s.
- What is the issue Twain is satirizing?
- What techniques does Twain use to create his satire?
- What is the issue McCullough is satirizing?
- What techniques does McCullough use to create his satire?
- How effectively do the techniques used communicate Twain’s position?
- How effectively do the techniques used communicate McCullough’s position?
- How are the messages communicated by Twain and McCullough similar?
- Which message could you relate to more? Explain why in a minimum of three sentences.
Part B: Search for Satire
- Locate an example of satire. Copy and paste it here, making sure to note the source where you found it in a proper citation.
(Possible sources include television shows, humor magazines, the op/ed section of the newspaper, movies, comic strips, songs, and internet memes.)
- What is human institution or human weakness is being satirized in this piece?
- Identify and explain the types of humor devices used to create the satire.
- How effectively do the techniques used communicate the creator’s position?
- Evaluate the overall effectiveness of the satire. Explain your reasoning in a minimum of three sentences.
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