Topic: Satire

Catch 22 still true thing

ELA High School

'Catch 22' Still Rings True

World War II Satire Humor

Though Joseph Heller’s novel “Catch 22” was published more than a half century ago, its ideas and attitudes remain relevant today. The book’s title has even become a part of our language. The novel, which takes place on the battlefield during World War II, was inspired by Heller’s own experiences in war. He decided not to write a typical war novel, though, and early critics were surprised and even offended by the book’s tone and content. Listen to hear why “Catch 22” felt new and different at the time it was published, and learn how its ideas have continued to endure today.

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The truth can be powerful

ELA High School

Vonnegut Discusses 'Slaughterhouse-Five'

Literature World War II war Science Fiction Satire Writing Process

Kurt Vonnegut used his personal experience as a prisoner of war during World War II to write the novel "Slaughterhouse-Five or The Children’s Crusade." Twenty-five years after this experience, Vonnegut memorialized it in a unconventional novel that combined satire and science fiction to reveal the reality of war. Listen to learn more about what inspired the novel and how it liberated people to honestly discuss war.

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Animal farm and satire

ELA High School

'Animal Farm' and Satire

Civics/Government Politics World History II Culture Communism Reform Dystopian Fiction Satire World Literature

George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” was published in 1945. Its message was explicitly political as a statement and a satire against Stalinism and the dictatorial socialism of the Soviet Union. Understanding this allegory gives deeper meaning to the talking animals who take control of their farm. Seventy years later, does this message of failed revolution resonate in a communist nation with a similar revolution and trajectory? Listen to learn how a later theatrical adaptation of the book is being understood in modern day China.

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Current Event November 13, 2013

Modern Take on ‘Gulliver’s Travels’

Literature Satire

Jonathan Swift’s 1726 classic “Gulliver’s Travels” is a satirical tale of travels to a long-lost land. A modern-day movie, starring actor Jack Black, takes the centuries old classic and begins the story in modern day New York City. Listen to learn more about the original novel and this new movie adaptation.

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Samuel beckett

Current Event October 30, 2013

Samuel Beckett’s Complex Life

World War II Drama Satire

Playwright Samuel Beckett is known for his postmodernist, absurdist and dark comedy writing. His work, including his most famous play 'Waiting for Godot,' is hard to grasp initially but reflected the post World War II era and his own worldview. Beckett had a complex life as a man and a writer. Listen to learn more about Samuel Beckett’s life and his plays.

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