Satire vs Sarcasm – Difference between Satire and Sarcasm

In my view, the major difference between satire and sarcasm lies in the fact how they are actually employed. Let’s look at how you can distinguish satire vs sarcasm.

A speaker uses satire in a constructive way to let the people know about their mistakes so that they can rectify their flaws. Whereas the speaker uses sarcasm to convey disagreement or derision or some negative sentiment towards a subject or situation.

Satire vs Sarcasm – top 7 key differences

Satire appraises criticism, Sarcasm praise
In plays or write-ups, satire exposes the shortcomings. It is a constructive criticism with a purpose to correct what is wrong. On the other hand, sarcasm is insult hidden in the form of praise never meant as one.

Satire is pro society but not sarcasm
Satire is an art to point out the flaws in a society. It is used with the sole purpose of achieving a positive outcome. Satirical humor is used to make a point keeping in mind the required social changes for a better society. Sarcasm is focused more towards an individual and often with the intention to insult the person.

Satire is genre of literature, Sarcasm is not
Satire is often used in performing arts and is considered a genre of literature however there is no such thing with Sarcasm. This could the explanation why satirists like Erasmus, Austen, Oscar Wilde and Plato. Sarcasm, on the other hand has little or nothing to do with literature.

Satire is constructive but Sarcasm is ill-humored mockery
Satire is intellectual teasing and is in good humor whereas sarcasm is ill humored. Satire pushes the person towards the point however sarcasm is more likely to drive away the person. If your intentions are to be pleasant with someone, sarcasm is not the way forward.

Satire contains humor, not Sarcasm
One of the integral part of satire is humor. But sarcasm, however is usually used as an instrument for one-upmanship, humor need not to be a part of it.

Satire has moral dimensions but Sarcasm hasn’t
Satire has moral dimension. It is used to deliver a message and it is often used with the intention to cause realization in a person. While the same is not true for sarcasm, it is used to mock people and has less to do with moral.

Satire does not wound, Sarcasm does
Sarcasm can be offending at times. Be it an argument at workplace or any other place, sarcastic comments are intended to be upsetting. On the other side, satire has not much to do with an heated discussions, and is often used as an improvement tool.

During French revolution, satire was used in cartoons to convey messages to people.

At the end, i would like to conclude the differences between sarcasm and satire by saying that the latter educates while the former doesn’t.

Satire vs Sarcasm info-graphic

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