Visit to a Small Planet Essay

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Moran is an author and educator. His essay discusses Vidal's facility with satire.

Gore Vidal once labeled himself America's "current biographer," and Visit to a Small Planet can certainly be read and enjoyed as a satirical chapter in the political and cultural biography of the United States. Satire creates its effects by mocking human behaviors and assumptions in an effort to raise a reader or viewer's awareness of what the satirist sees as their foolishness. The satire of this play hits many "targets," such as American attitudes toward sex, military incompetence, bureaucracy, and paranoia. It also pokes fun at the fear of "Communist infiltration" and slogan-spouting patriotism. By using an alien visitor, Vidal is able to provide a "fresh look" at what he sees as modern American issues that deserve our examination. The play's humor derives largely from its suggestion that any such objective look at Americans would...

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This section contains 1,585 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Visit to a Small Planet Study Guide
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Drama for Students
Visit to a Small Planet from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.