"The war parts, anyway, are pretty much true": negotiating the reality of World War II in Slaughterhouse-Five and Catch-22

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapter

Abstract

Slaughterhouse-Five (1969) and Catch-22 are both frequently referred to as “war” or “anti-war” novels. Both texts engage, often on a personal level, with the affects and after-effects of war on the individual. In this chapter I will argue that Lance Rubin’s proposal that a sense of incongruity “lies at the heart of American experience” (109) is of central importance to understanding the comparable satirical impulses behind both Vonnegut’s and Heller’s novels. The chapter will move beyond nihilistic readings of each text to argue for a rereading that situates the two author's works as suggesting humanist alternatives for dealing with the dehumanising experience of war.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCritical Insights
Subtitle of host publicationSlaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut
Editors Leonard Mustazza
Place of PublicationCalifornia
PublisherSalem Press
Pages64-79
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9781587657214
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2010

Publication series

NameCritical insights

Keywords

  • Antiwar
  • Vietnam War

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