REREADING JOSEPH HELLER?S CATCH-22 FROM THE VIEWPOINT OF EXISTENTIAL PHILOSOPHY AND CAMUS? ABSURDISM

Abstract

Author(s): Mehmet Recep TA?

Published in 1961, Joseph Heller's Catch-22 came into prominence among important American novels of the twentieth century. It coined a new expression that connotes the illogical, inconsistent and irrational situations. It deals with the absurdities and unsolvable paradoxical policies of the state’s policymaking groups that drive the individuals into a meaningless, absurdist worldview. It is likely as well to assert that Catch-22 is a novel, which reflects and promote an existential worldview. However, this worldview is closer to Sartre’s standpoint than that of Camus’. Considering the novel, the existential philosophy of Sartre (which suggests that we're able to basically invent meanings of our own) and Camus’ absurdism (which suggests that the search for meaning is in itself both absurd and determined to fail, so; we should embrace the absurd and find happiness in it), this article aims to underline the importance of adopting the existential philosophy of Sartre for the individuals to cope with the sense of nihilism when confronted with the absurdities of today’s world policy making groups.

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