Master of Arts (MA)
Primary Subject Area
1960s, Catch-22, Dark Humor, Joseph Heller
Staaby, Kirsten, "Bewilderment and Illumination: Catch-22 and the Dark Humor of the 1960s" (2009). Masters Theses. 62.
It is often hard to deal with certain subjects in a way that would not be offensive or painful. Dark humor is a popular and powerful way to deal with serious issues in a manner that is both edifying and enjoyable. In his novel Catch-22, Joseph Heller deals with the atrocities of war, and the subsequent effects it has on people and society as a whole. Heller's novel incorporates the dark humor that became popular in the 1960s, and that was used by this generation to deal with the tensions they faced in the political and cultural realms. There is much that can be learned about America in the 1960s by studying the humor that so aptly reflected the mindset of the culture of this time.