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Word Count: 497
In Joseph Hellers war novel Catch-22 the main character Yossarians feelings toward war are greatly shaped by the fate of another character who never appears in the flesh during the novel In bits and pieces Heller reveals who the character Snowden is and how he affects Yossarian Heller does this discreetly Heller uses the character to strengthen one of the novels overall themes war dehumanizes men during war those actually shedding blood are no longer individuals because they must fight for their nation and cause they may not even believe in When the horrific details of Snowdens death are finally revealed the theme is more evident Yossarian is not a typical American war hero In fact he is not even American- he is Assyrian Heller does not write of Yossarians astounding bravery patriotism or heroic acts Instead ironically he writes about a coward a man who does not know his role in WWII Snowdens death alerts readers as to why Yossarian does not want to fight Chapters before Snowdens death is revealed his funeral is described Here Heller makes an important allusion to the biblical story of the Adam and Eve Yossarian shocked by Snowdens death refuses to wear his clothes and watches the funeral naked from a tree By viewing Snowden die in a such an explicit way Yossarian has lost his innocence much like Adam and Eve through sin Yossarian is no longer innocent because he has realized the truth about war war takes any mans spirit His clothing ironically a military uniform becomes a symbol of his innocence and shed he has this no longer Another irony is that after Snowdens death all Yossarian cares about is keeping himself alive long enough to be sent home- he could care less about the war going on The second-to-last chapter fully describes the mission when Snowden dies a horrible death- his liver intestines lungs and other entrails falling out of his body As he
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