What type of tone is used in Catch-22?  

The tone of Catch-22 is satirical. It moves throughout the piece from light-hearted to serious as men go from being comical and oblivious at one point to dying in battle in the next. Heller uses satire to draw attention to the many paradoxes of war and its effect on people.

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The prevailing tone of Joseph Heller's Catch-22 is satirical. Heller exaggerates the actions of his characters in a way that draws attention to the insanity of war. Yossarian's own actions and thoughts contradict each other constantly. Yossarian puts forth the notion that he is a brave soldier but spends...

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The prevailing tone of Joseph Heller's Catch-22 is satirical. Heller exaggerates the actions of his characters in a way that draws attention to the insanity of war. Yossarian's own actions and thoughts contradict each other constantly. Yossarian puts forth the notion that he is a brave soldier but spends most of his time looking for loopholes in the military system. The reader sees how everyone around him is also a great paradox, for example, Hungry Joe complaining about Huple's cat and then dying with it in his tent. The actions of Yossarian's superiors also draw attention to the insanity surrounding war as they continue to make decisions that do not match their own actions. The tone of this piece is satirical and moves from the light-hearted end of the spectrum to a more serious tone as men go from sometimes comical conversations at the camp to being brutally killed in battle in the very next scene. Heller uses satire to draw attention to the many paradoxes of war and the effect it has on people.

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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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