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Here at enotes there are "reliable sources." For instance, there is a biography on the author and two critical essays available. (See the links below.) In addition, you may wish to consult the Contemporary Literary Criticisms in the reference section of your public or college library as they are a great resource. Of course, you can also access JSTOR or ERIC and find criticisms in your college library. All of these sources are reliable.
Joseph Heller's black comedy about World War II stands as one of the great works of twentieth century American literature. Its satire of bureaucracy is unrivaled and darkly funny. For, his book captures Heller's pessimism about the individual's powerlessness to combat the corruption of such powerful bureaucracies as the military. In one of the ciritical essays here at enotes, "Catch-22: Issues of Social Order and Responsibility in the War Novel," the author, Darren Felty, explores individual responsibility and the social order, believing that Catch-22 addresses the corruption is all bureaucracies, not just the military. Another essay, "Dramatic Tension in Catch-22," the author, Louis Hasley explores Heller's use of black comedy, or the "humorous with the horrific" as he terms it. Hasley explains,
It is part of the pattern that the laughter, intermittent and trailing away just before the end, contributes to a catharsis in which the grimness of war provides the dominant memory.
Certainly, this essay by Hasley provides a topic that may be well-developed into a paper for the student.
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