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Irony In Catch 22 By Joseph Heller

878 words - 4 pages

Irony in Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

 
     According to The Merriam - Webster Dictionary "Irony is 1.) the use of words to express the opposite of what one really means 2.) incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the expected result" (380) In Catch-22 the type of irony that Heller uses is the second definition "incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the expected results" (Merriam - Webster Dictionary 380). For example in Catch-22 Heller writes "Actually, there were many officers clubs that Yossarian had not helped build, but he was proudest of the one on Pianosa" (18). You would have expected Heller to write he was proudest of the club that he built but he says the opposite and that is the irony.

 

Catch-22 is based totally on the use of words like these ones. Heller totally keeps the reader on their toes by the use of insane combinations of words and phrases. People never hear stories like Heller tells them. That is irony in Catch-22, the out of the ordinary and complete to the way that occurrences normally happen.

 

"Joseph Hellers Catch-22 is a novel that deliberately sets out to show that we live in an absurd universe. In the world that Heller creates we feel like a stranger and yet feel at home. We feel just because, as Camus remarks in the 'Myth of Sisyphus', "in a universe that is suddenly deprived of illusions and light, man feels a stranger." But we also feel at home, because unreason seems to rule so much of our ordinary everyday lives. The comic formula 'Catch-22' sums up man's position on am absurd universe, and the novel shows that is applies to every aspect of life: to war, to love, to business, even to religion." (Colmer 210)

 

Part of the irony that envelops Catch-22 is the use of it's extremely creative dialogue and scenes in the story. Heller places the reader in a atmosphere where comedy shouldn't be able to exist at all, but Heller somehow puts a reverse on the normality and creates a memorable scene. "Heller invents dialogue rich in humor and pathos in order to fit the serious religious and philosophical implications of 'Catch-22' into his comic novel." (Colmer 212)

 

The comedy that Catch-22 brings is ironic in itself, think how can you get humor out of war which entails pain and suffering, that beats me how Heller does it but by whatever means used Heller creates a complete package of humor and real life occurrences which is a great fete in itself. "Though it's comic formula riddle, Heller's novel expresses the apparently...

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