According to The Merriam - Webster Dictionary "Irony is 1.) the use of words to express the opposite of what one really means 2.) incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the expected result" (380) In Catch-22 the type of irony that Heller uses is the second definition "incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the expected results" (Merriam - Webster Dictionary 380). For example in Catch-22 Heller writes "Actually, there were many officers clubs that Yossarian had not helped build, but he was proudest of the one on Pianosa" (18). You would have expected Heller to write he was proudest of the club that he built but he says the opposite and that is the irony.
Catch-22 is based totally on the use of words like these ones. Heller totally keeps the reader on their toes by the use of insane combinations of words and phrases. People never hear stories like Heller tells them. That is irony in Catch-22, the out of the ordinary and complete to the way that occurrences normally happen.
"Joseph Hellers Catch-22 is a novel that deliberately sets out to show that we live in an absurd universe. In the world that Heller creates we feel like a stranger and yet f...
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...t something can only happen if certain conditions prevents the very fulfilling of that condition prevents it from ever happening." (Colmer 211)
Colmer, John. Colerige To Catch-22. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1978
Heller, Joseph. Catch-22. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1955
Merill, Robert. Joseph Heller. Massachusetts: Twayne Publishers, 1987
Nagel, James. Critical Essays on Joseph Heller. Massachusetts: G.K. Hall & Co., 1984
Potts, Stephen W. Catch-22 Antiheroic Antinovel. Massachusetts: Twayne Publishers, 1989
The Merriam - Webster Dictionary. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1974
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