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Kurt Vonneguts Slaughterhouse-Five and Joseph Hellers Catch-22 use similar motifs to convey their common anti-war message Although it is truly difficult for any author to communicate the true nature of war in a work of literature both novels are triumphant in their attempts to convey the devastating experience The authors analogous writing styles themes and motifs run parallel to one another Both Slaughterhouse-Five and Catch-22 incorporate irony exemplify the idiocy and folly of military institutions and convey a similar theme throughout their story lines One common theme is seen in the characters of Hungry Joe in Catch-22 and Edgar Derby in Slaughterhouse-Five Both of these characters relate to the casualties that were not caused by direct battle wounds These motifs relay the authors anti-war message The picture of war painted by Heller and Vonnegut is highlighted by their utilization of irony Their careful strokes of irony on the canvas of their novels help to prove one of their numerous shared themes Meredith 218 Along with Hungry Joe and Edgar Derby exemplifying the casualties not caused by battle they also represent the tragedies suffered shortly before the conclusion of the war After surviving all of the hardships of war these two men perish only when the end of the war could be seen in the horizon The irony in the both mens deaths is very clear Hungry Joes death after over 70 combat missions as a pilot came quietly in his sleep while having a dream Heller 445 As Slaughterhouse-Fives counterpart to Hungry Joe the arbitrary death of Edgar Derby is similarly ironic Snodgrass 435 After surviving some devastating ordeals during the war along with prison camp he was arrested for plundering after stealing a teapot He was tried and shot only months before the end of the war Vonnegut 214 Both men experienced death but ironically not as a result of combat only after surviving so many horrific events of war Many comparisons can be
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