Satire in Dr. Strangelove

Essay by eid February 2010

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In Doctor Strangelove, Stanley Kubrick has taken what, at the time, was a highly serious and sensitive issue, and incorporated it into a satire movie which displays the absurdity at which politics had almost brought mankind to the brink of nuclear annihilation. Despite the movie's comedic nature, the events in the movie still retain their serious and tense tone which is reminiscent of the actual situations in the Cold War. At the same time, those situations are ridiculed in the movie to allow the audience to realize the extent of human idiocy. The movie focuses on several aspects of the Cold War. Among these aspects are paranoia, character stereotypes, andDuring the Cold War, there was an intense level of paranoia between the two superpowers as they struggle to spread their ideologies. The Paranoia during the Cold War can be best represented by General Ripper. General Ripper was a psychotic general who had convinced himself that the communists are planning to pollute the "precious bodily fluids" of the Americans, and thus, ordered the initiation of Plan R.

Plan R is a plan which allows an officer to launch a nuclear counterattack against the Soviets if the normal chain of command has been disrupted. What General Ripper failed to realize, however, was that the USSR had not planned, whatsoever, to steal the "precious bodily fluids" of the American people. His initiation of Plan R was merely caused by his extreme sense of paranoia which has fabricated his believe that the US was under harm from a communist plot. His line, "Shoot first, ask questions later," greatly sums up is paranoid ideas.

Stereotypes, many of which are exaggerated, are depicted in the characters of the movie. For example, generals such as Jack Ripper are depicted as mad lunatics, politicians in the war room...