Capitalism In Catch 22 Essay

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How are the themes of capitalism and its effects explored in the texts of The War With The Newts and Catch-22?

*The War With The Newts is a satirical novel in which a Sea Captain, Captain Vantoch, discovers a race of highly intelligent, amphibious newts on an island west of Sumatra. Upon discovering that the newts are able to efficiently and effectively gather otherwise unobtainable oysters, Captain Vantoch begins to train them and utilise them with the aid of a powerful investor in order to obtain a large quantity of pearls. The newts in the novel then gradually become objectified, and begin being unethically traded and treated as slave workers. The newts eventually rebel against their human oppressors and sink continents in order to ensure that they are the dominant species, free of oppression.
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Despite being set during completely different time periods and locations, the issues faced on account of war and causation of war are similar. In both texts, the well-being of individuals are jeopardised and ignored for monetary gain of a conglomerate or business. These struggles relate to individuals of working or ‘lower’ class socio-economic standing, often having their personal needs or well-being jeopardised for the monetary, or personal gain of those in higher positions of power. Throughout both texts, ideologies of these struggles and issues are portrayed through the use of symbolism, characterisation, the structure and progression of the novel and the portrayal of those in power. Čapek’s depiction of Capitalism and Capitalist war indicates that it will lead to the downfall and end of humanity whilst Heller’s portrayal is indicative of Capitalism becoming ‘all-powerful’ and ‘all-controlling’, leading to citizens of lower socio-economic standing to have no control over their
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