Mark Twain’s “A Presidential Candidate”

Use what you have learned in this unit to analyze two satires. Read Mark Twain’s “A Presidential Candidate” and locate another modern satirical artifact on your own. Your artifact can be an essay, article, or letter; it is up to you to ensure the piece you have selected is, in fact, satirical.
You may wish to print Twain’s satire and the satire you selected so that you can annotate them as you read. Then, for each artifact, respond to the following questions using complete sentences:

  1. What is the essential cultural observation or situation being satirized? What clues lead you to this conclusion?
  2. What rhetorical strategies does the writer use to achieve the satirical effect? List them, and explain how each is used.
  3. What is the social change for which the writer might be calling? Is this change achievable? Does the writer, through satire, imply any suggestions?
    “A Presidential Candidate”
    Mark Twain, 1879
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