Literary Parodies: Five Notable Examples

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1. “Gulliver’s Travels” by Jonathan Swift

Target: Travel narratives of the 18th century
Imitation: Swift’s work mimics the style of popular travel narratives, describing fantastical lands and cultures.
Implicit Criticism: The book serves as a satire on human nature, government, and the “travelling scientists” of the time. It questions the validity and motives behind colonial exploration and scientific inquiry.

2. “Don Quixote” by Miguel de Cervantes

Target: Chivalric romances
Imitation: The novel follows a delusional knight, imitating the language and structure of medieval chivalric tales.
Implicit Criticism: Cervantes critiques the unrealistic and impractical ideals presented in chivalric romances, highlighting the gap between literary fantasy and real-world practicality.

3. “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” by Seth Grahame-Smith

Target: “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen
Imitation: The parody retains much of Austen’s original text but adds a zombie apocalypse setting.
Implicit Criticism: The book comments on the rigidity and social norms of Regency England, suggesting that they are as mindless and destructive as a horde of zombies.

4. “The Wind Done Gone” by Alice Randall

Target: “Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell
Imitation: The novel retells the story from the perspective of a slave, using a similar setting and characters.
Implicit Criticism: Randall’s work criticizes the romanticized portrayal of the American South and slavery in “Gone with the Wind,” offering a counter-narrative that highlights the experiences of the enslaved.

5. “Bored of the Rings” by Henry N. Beard and Douglas C. Kenney

Target: “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien
Imitation: This parody mimics the epic quest narrative, complete with a similar map and characters with pun-based names.
Implicit Criticism: The book pokes fun at the seriousness and complexity of Tolkien’s world, suggesting that the original might take itself too seriously and be overly complicated.

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