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Word Count: 1,449
It is very difficult for any writer to successfully communicate the true nature of war in a work of literature However Slaughter House-5 by Kurt Vonnegut and Catch-22 by Joseph Heller both are triumphant in their attempts to convey that singular experience Both authors accomplish their undertaking in very analogous styles Their works run along parallel lines and thus each is quite anti-war From start to finish irony is woven into each story exemplifying the idiocy and folly of military institutions a theme throughout the novels Almost as prevalent is the subject of sex Yossarian and Billy both are overly preoccupied with sex and womens bodies No less important are the characters Hungry Joe and Edgar Derby who transmit the authors knowledge of wars casualties that bear no battle wounds The two authors use these motifs in similar ways to convey their anti-war message The picture of war that is painted by Vonnegut and Heller is highlighted by their utilization of irony Their careful strokes of irony on the canvases of their novels help to prove one of their numerous shared themes The institutions and organizations created by war are bizarre Many comparisons can be made between M M Enterprises of Catch-22 and the group of English men in the Nazi war camp from Slaughterhouse-five Both protagonists have quite ironic experiences with the group that exists within their particular universe In Yossarians frantic attempt to help the dying Snowden he opens the first-aid kit and finds that The twelve syrettes of morphine had been stolen from their case and replaced by a cleanly lettered note that said Whats good for M M Enterprises is good for the country Milo Minderbinder Heller 446 The irony in this is blatantly obvious Snowden is not benefiting from M Ms repossession of the morphine In fact he will suffer to a much greater degree because of it Obviously the M M company is not meant
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