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An Analysis of the Satiric Novels The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Catch-22 by Joseph Heller and Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
Word Count: 3,370
Nothing is more apparent in the genre of satire than the ridicule of the vices and immoralities of society This focussing on the defects of society as a whole doubles as a function of this genre of literature and a framework within the plot or theme of the novel or story The satirist emphasizes the ugly ramifications of society but to do so the satirist needs a vehicle for the observation of societys actions and effects as a whole This society is often represented as a microcosm or series of microcosms along a journey and the vehicle for the observation of the presented society is an individual located on the outside To ensure that the individual is fully isolated from society and thus capable of objectively observing the follies of the world the individual is given characteristics of a distinctive identity The concept of an individual may be summarized in a statement made by Rick Hoyle The human self is a self-organizing interactive system of thoughts feelings and motives that characterizes an individual The self is reflexive and dynamic in nature responsive yet stable Hoyle 2 Therefore the outsider must be an individual fully capable of organizing his or her thoughts and emotions and the consequences of each upon the self and the world Logically proceeding the definition of the individual outside of society is the definition of society a term that can be used to designate the specifically relational system of interaction among individuals and collectivities Sanford 219 By positioning the polarities of individual and society in a conflict of values the satirist has created an effective method for criticizing society The major trends the satirist may attribute to the individuals separated from society are the inability to integrate themselves into society a certain degree of naivet and have definite flaws These trends are apparent in the protagonists of the satiric novels Mark Twains Huckleberry Finn Joseph Hellers Catch 22 and Kurt Vonneguts
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