Social Commentary

James Sandt

The Importance of Social Commentary

Social Commentary is the act in which one reflects upon societal issues by addressing or commentating on them through works of fiction, nonfiction, public speaking, visual arts, media, and music. A society cannot function without social commentary due to the fact that someone must address public issues in order for any progress sort of progress to occur. Whether the criticism is brought through the works of a writer, artist, or poet, it behooves a functional society to have one commentate upon relevant issues, for only then can improvements be made. Societies and persons learn upon commentary like Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn. The work enables societies to learn and better themselves as a whole in regards to morals and the way in which individuals are treated.
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Social Commentary Within Huckleberry Finn

Mark Twain does a phenomenal job on using rhetorical means to commentate on an issue within society within his novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. During the time period that Twain wrote this novel, the morals behind slavery were being tested. The writer chose to address this issue by discussing his characters internal conflict about whether or not he should return a runaway slave. Twain uses Huckleberry to illustrate to the reader his own personal stance on this issue. Twain does this by having Huck "go to work and steal Jim out of slavery again (Twain 214),” thus reflecting upon the issue of slavery and commentating upon this issue in his literary work.
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Current Example

Pennsylvania Governor, Tom Wolfe, just recently signed orders permitting those transgender men and women to access whichever restroom they prefer and feel most comfortable in. The Governor used this form of Political commentary to address a societal issue regarding what he considers the rights of those transgender. Similarly to the commentary within The Adventures of Huckleberry FInn, Governor Wolfe demonstrates to the inhabitants of Pennsylvania his stance upon the rights of the minorities through his signings of these executive orders.

Personal Example

Currently there are hundreds of thousands of Syrian Immigrants seeking refuge and asylum in western nations. I would not allow them in due to the fact that their culture and religion will not permit them to assimilate with many clashing beliefs. The nations can either accept the refugees and have an immediate economic penalty, or potentially have a violent uproar at their boarders. If the presence of these refugee Muslims is a virtue, then why are they the face of terrorism and downfall? Despite the incredibly low percentage of actual terrorism within the ethnicity, the acceptance of all of the Muslim refugees is a risk in which I believe western countries should not be willing to take.
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