Symbolism In Something Happened

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Heller’s second symbol in Something Happened is yet another setting, the office where Slocum works. It represented the boring, monotonous days of the average corporate worker. Every day was the same, run like a well oiled machine, with the same mundane tasks done the same way. The office also represents the fear that people have for each other. In Slocum’s department “there are six people who are afraid of [him], and one small secretary who is afraid of all of [them]. ” (Something Happened, pg 24) There was no good reason why everyone was so fearful of each other, it was just how it worked in Slocum’s office. Heller does this in order to show the harsh environments that people in America were facing. It’s no wonder that people don’t want to go to work.
In Closing Time Heller adds onto his first symbol of New York with the symbol of the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Heller creates the terminal as a place where all the lower class of the city, such as the runaways, beggars, and prostitutes, intermingle with all of the other people of the city. Heller acknowledges that these people would rather not be living the lives they
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These different messages come together to form one powerful message to his readers. He wanted to comment on the declining state of America’s values, and how he wanted that to change. In Catch-22 Heller wanted to show readers what war did to nations, and wanted to help open people's eyes to the dehumanization of it all. Something Happened was a much different than the previous book, but kept the focus on America. He wanted to show how corporations make people into faceless and all around insignificant beings, and their effects on the human psyche. Finally, Closing Time commented on the the low morality that America was beginning to have, and how the people in need should be helped. Heller’s views on America were quite bold, but also very
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