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The Existential Sense of "Catch-22"

Author: YangWenZuo
Tutor: LiuJiuMing
School: Huazhong University of Science and Technology
Course: Comparative Literature and World Literature
Keywords: existentialism black humor absurd identity freedom
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2010
Downloads: 171
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Based on the Black Humor literature’s theoretical basis, the author tries to analyse the existentialism sense of Joseph Heller’s masterpiece Catch-22. Referred to Catch-22, this article’s analysis strategy is: taking the theoretical basis mainly from the main existentialism representatives, Kierkegaard, Karl Jaspers, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Satre etc., then analysing it combining with the text. Based on the theoretical framework of the work and text reading, the author wants to construct a feasible assumption and analyse the existentialism sense of Catch-22.This article contains the following 3 parts. In the first part, the author analyses the writer’s expression of the absurd feeling of being, points out that Catch-22’s expression of the absurdity includes the writer’s concern about the absurd living condition and his irrational means of expression. And then the author analyses the paradoxical logic symbol, Catch-22. In the second part, the author begins with the analysis of man’s emotional experience under the absurd living condition, doubts about "God" and the lost of identity, then the author analyses "taking off the uniform" and "receiving the metal, naked" those two symbolic behaviour of Yossarian. In the third part, the author makes a list of five different roles according to their different choices and points out that freedom is the basis of living, and the writer wants to defend the value of freedom and responsibility for oneself.

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