Exploring satire in the early postmodern American war novel

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Letters & Science


After the Second World War, young soldier-writers such as Norman Mailer, Irwin Shaw, James Jones and Joseph Heller responded to the cultural impact and horrors of World War II by engaging a satire that was meant to not only expose problems of society, but inspire change. Too often, readers mistake satire for pure entertainment. Although satire has a longstanding reputation as comedy, satire is a vital weapon for democratic societies to challenge lies, corruption and the abuse of power. By focusing attention on a diverse range of satiric expression, this thesis aims to fill a gap in the scholarship on early postmodern American war novels and the way they attack systems that objectify and dehumanize human bodies for the agenda of war.




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