Saturday, December 7, 2013

Candide and Catch-22

I really enjoyed Candide, so I decided that I wanted to read some more satire. The satire I chose to read is Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. I'm not too far into it, but the two are very similar in some ways. For instance, they both criticize war, and both certainly use lots of dark humor. That being said, the books are also very different in other ways. As opposed to the naive, well-meaning, and simple Candide, the main character of Catch-22, Yossarian, is much smarter, lies constantly, and is almost solely obsessed with his own survival. Also, Catch-22 takes place much later during WWII. That just shows how broad a range of topics satires can cover.

1 comment:

Ian Kuehne said...

I definitely saw a lot of similarity. Not to spoil the story for you, but I think the biggest difference is the last section of Catch-22, when the satire starts to become completely cynical and no longer funny or lighthearted, which allows Heller to bring his point home (his main point being that war is pointless and no sane individual would take part in it). The surreal series of misfortunes and completely unreasonable, single-minded characters is common to both books--I think Heller was definitely thinking of Candide while he wrote.