Most of us don't like to face ugly truths about ourselves or the society in which we live. What satirists do is force us to confront these issues through humour.
They use wit, irony or sarcasm to mock or expose people, events or attitudes which they feel we, as a society, need to think about.
What they hope to achieve is change. They hope that in viewing their work, we will realise how ridiculous we're being, and that these moments of insight will cause us to change our attitudes and actions, or put pressure on others to do so.
Here's a little bit of satire for you. Hope it makes you think ...
Dream Parents: [Mom]: Oh, you definitely look like a cheap slut in that! Have fun! See you whenever! [Dad]: You're going out with Johnny? Oooh - I saw his name in the Police Log! He's FAMOUS!
Political cartoonists, in particular, make use of satire to comment on the actions, philosophies and policies of political figures or parties.
The following PowerPoint contains examples of political cartoons with analysis: