Acceptance or Revolt: A Comparative Existential Analysis of Billy Pilgrim in Slaughterhouse-Five and Yossarian in Catch-22 within the Context of War Absurdity


Editor1Farhan Hyder ,Hafiz Imran Nawaz, Waqar Younis


Acceptance and Revolt become two sides of the same coin in the face of the absurdity of war in Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five and Joseph Heller's Catch-22. This paper examines how the protagonists, Billy Pilgrim and Yossarian, try to fill up the existential void created by a world devoid of inherent meaning. Both characters tragically encounter the psychological trauma and existential crisis during war. The profound negative impact of absurdity compel both of them to question their individual identity. The search for meaning through their contrasting approaches of Acceptance and Revolt is main goal of this study. Comparing their war experiences and aftermath, the paper tries to find out contrasting strategies adopted by protagonists to confront the trauma. The comparative analysis explores how Billy's unstuck existence and fatalistic acceptance is different from Yossarian's desperate attempts to defy the nonsensical logic of war in context of their existential struggle within a meaningless world around them.