Comparison Of Catch 22 By Joseph Heller And Slaughterhouse Five

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What is the message being portrayed in “Slaughterhouse Five” by Kurt Vonnegut? What about “Catch 22” by Joseph Heller? These are two different reads that just happen to be very similar but also juxtapose each other when compared and contrasted. Slaughterhouse Five is the story of a man named Billy Pilgrim who focuses on the firebombing of Dresden during World War II while switching back and forth to different points of time in his life. Catch 22 is the story of a man, Captain John Yossarian, who is a bombardier but very much against World War II and due to the law of “Catch 22” his life is not his own. Yossarian is desperate to retain his own life and escape the inevitable death in war. These two reads share the same properties when painting …show more content…
Firstly, “Slaughterhouse Five” and “Catch 22” compare through the theme of anti-war displayed in each book. What is anti-war? Anti-war means opposed to war in general or to the conduct of a specific war. The two protagonists were innocent men who were taken and forced to become heros by risking their lives for a war they do not even support, World War II. Both Billy Pilgrim and Yossarian were opposed to World War II and that was clearly shown with the use of their point of views and their opinions/beliefs. “Slaughterhouse Five” displays the theme of anti-war by showing readers how illogical war is. Vonnegut did this by painting a ludicrous, macabre, and grotesque picture of what war really is. People tended to think that war was a marvelous thing due to the media’s portrayal of war and the war heros. Mary O’Hare was very angry when she heard the news of Vonnegut writing a book about the war, mainly the firebombing of Dresden because she no longer wanted war to glorified. “...you’ll be played in the movies by Frank Sinatra and John Wayne or some of those other glamorous, war-loving, dirty old men. And war will look just wonderful, so we’ll have a lot more of them’...So then I understood. It was war that made …show more content…
These two styles of writing creatively show the lack of free will and inevitable death which connects to why anti-war was the main conflict in both books. “Slaughterhouse Five” uses sci-fi to mainly show lack of free will instead of death being inevitable in life during war unlike “Catch 22” due to his belief of being “unstuck in time” from the aliens, the Tralfamadorians. Being “unstuck in time” means to be able travel in time and visit different times in one’s life for it is the idea of everything existing and happening all at once. “I am a Tralfamadorian, seeing all time as you might see a stretch of the Rocky Mountains. All time is all time. It does not change. It does not lend itself to warnings or explanations. It simply is...you will find that we are all, as I’ve said before, bugs in amber. ‘You sound to me as though you don’t believe in free will...’ ” (Vonnegut,109) Just like Billy’s life during war, there is no free will in the world of Tralfamadore, meaning the past, present, and future can not be altered. And like bugs in amber, you can not change your fate for it has already been set in stone. This connects to anti-war because even though an unpleasant picture had been painted of World War II, it was unstoppable and still is. “I say, ‘Why don’t you write an anti-glacier book instead?’ ”(Vonnegut,4) Glaciers can not

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