Heller's Use Of Irony In Dr Strangelove

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How do the authors of Catch-22 and Dr Strangelove use irony and black humour to illustrate the futility of war and criticise those in authority during war?

Coming out of the Cold War era, Joseph Heller's Catch-22 and Stanley Kubrick's Dr Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb make scathing satire of war and politicians.
Heller and Kubrick explore their ideas about the futility of war and those who have authority in war using irony and black humour. While Heller uses these techniques to demonstrate the harmfulness of bureaucracy having absolute power, Kubrick uses them to satirise the fears of Americans during the Cold War and illustrate the futility and destructiveness of war. Both authors use irony and black humour
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Heller uses both of these situations to demonstrate the detriment of the bureaucracy having absolute power. It is clear to the reader that these rules are absurd and intended to force those who are not in power to do what is wanted of them. Kubrick uses situational irony to convey a different idea in Dr Strangelove. Major Kong joyfully straddles the bomb as it hurtles towards the earth from the plane. The major acts as though the Americans are about to win the war when in reality, the bomb sets off Russia's nuclear weapons, dooming the rest of the earth. The contrast between the major's grasp on the situation and the reality is used to express Kubrick's ideas about the futility of war. Contrary to what Major Kong thinks, there is no winning in a war-- both sides can only lose, and the only outcome is destruction. Verbal irony is also used in Dr Strangelove-- one of the most prominent quotes in the film is the President saying, “Gentlemen, you can't fight in here, this is the War Room!” Thus Kubrick emphasises the irrationality of the authorities involved in the war. He also uses music as a means of delivering irony.

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