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Word Count: 877
Comedy and tragedy have always been separation into separate genres Certainly most tragedies had comedic moments and even the craziest comedies were at times serious However even the development of supposed tragedies left the division intact That is until Catch-22 Joseph Heller does not deal with these issues in the normal fashion instead he criticizes them and the institutions that help carry these things out Heller in fact goes beyond criticizing he satirizes Joseph Heller manages to bond humor and terror comedy and tragedy and reveals in the process the mean of the human character and of society gone mad The first is his presentation of outrageous characters acting outrageously From the first chapter we are presented with a mass of unbelievable characters whose actions and beliefs are uproariously funny and horrifically disturbing In fact the manner in which the reader recognizes the characters dual nature will serve as the first example of Hellers combination of comedy and tragedy Dunbars theory of life is first received with a burst of laughter from the audience Life is short and Dunbar wishes to extend it as much as possible If time flies when one is having fun then conversely time must slow when one is bored Dunbar endeavors to make his life as boring as possible thus increasing the length of its passing Indeed it is understandable why such an attitude should elicit a laugh but the further implications are horrific Societys emphasis on life over meaning comes as a shocking revelation to the audience Heller further reinforces that idea with characters such as Doc Daneeka who values resistance and money over responsibility and friendship and Milo who values strength and fortune over the lives of thousands of others The design that follows gives us characters that are above all else more interested in themselves Though they are initially humorous their nature is ultimately revealed to be false and horrific arousing disgust and pity a brilliant combination
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