Humor And Surrealism In Catch-22 By Joseph Heller

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Catch-22 by Joseph Heller is a novel set during World War II on Pianosa, an island off the coast of Italy. Heller exhibits a type of writing style that features elements such as strange imagery, which was prevalent in the 20th century during the literary movement known as surrealism. He uses some specific techniques of this writing style, such as black humor and absurdity, to help make Catch-22 a refreshing and exciting novel.Throughout the novel, Yossarian, the protagonist, is an antihero to the characters in the novel, but he can be considered a hero due to him not participating with his squadron in doing missions that do not seem logical. Yossarian’s decision making represents him as an existentialist that does not want to conform to society. …show more content…
Joseph Heller enlisted in the Army Air Corps in the year 1942 and two years later, 1944, he was stationed off the coast of France and Italy on an island known as Corsica (Telgen, Diane). As he was in the army, he witnessed the murders and violence throughout World War II. While in the Army Air Corps, his role was to be a bombardier. As a bombardier, Heller flew more than sixty combat missions thus earning him one medal and a Presidential Union citation. When the war was over in 1945, Joseph Heller descended home and decided to go to college. He attended New York University getting his B. A., then Columbia University earning his M.A., and finally he attended Oxford University as a Fulbright Scholar. After attending these three colleges, Joseph moved to Pennsylvania, where he began teaching English at Pennsylvania State University for two years before changing his career to be an advertising copywriter. Working as a copywriter influenced Heller into writing novels, short stories, and film screenplays. Many of Heller’s works involve “the plot of an individual battling against a powerful institution such as the military, government, or a corporation” which help “capture Heller 's basic pessimism about the power of the individual to fight society 's corruption” (Telgen, …show more content…
Joseph Heller portrays how the corrupted bureaucracy disrespects individuals by treating them as “cogs in a machine” (Felty, Darren). For example, men with authority such as Milo Minderbinder and Colonel Cathcart would only answer to money and power and they would have no compassion for the individual 's life or any sort of mortality, thus showing how corrupted their minds were.
“The planes were decorated with flamboyant squadron emblems illustrating such laudable ideals as Courage, Might, Justice, Truth, Liberty, Love, Honor and Patriotism that were painted out at once by Milo 's mechanics with a double coat of flat white and replaced in garish purple with the stenciled name M & M ENTERPRISES, FINE FRUITS AND PRODUCE” (Heller

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