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Sarcastic, sardonic, satirical, and darkly humorous are just some of the words that describe the tone of Joseph Heller's anti-war classic, Catch-22. Heller tells his World War II tale in an atypical fashion. The protagonist, Yossarian, is an anti-hero whose bravery can be questioned at every turn. Of course, it is the absurd notions and actions of his superiors and the other men around him which cause Yossarian to doubt the reasoning behind their decisions, and which put his life unnecessarily in jeopardy on a daily basis. Although Yossarian is believed to be insane, in reality, he is about the only sane character in the novel. Heller shoots down the traditional views of heroism and the necessity of war, turning their real goals into materialistic objectives and financial profiteering. There is little common sense in Heller's nonsensical world, where the will to survive is considered madness, and where madness is considered the norm.
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