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Faculty Mentors

Jane Rose

Abstract

Being alone and surrounded by chaos would hardly encourage one to be calm and rational. Therefore, it is not difficult to appreciate M.H. Abram's definition of expressionism. He says expressionism is denoted by an author "expressing in [his] art [ ... ] violent extremes of emotion" while depicting an "individual standing alone and afraid in [ ... a] society which is disintegrating into chaos." These elements of expressionism reject realism in favor of expressing "a vision-of human life and human society." Applying these components to Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man and Joseph Heller's Catch-22 enables the reader to better grasp the often bizarre reactions of the novels' protagonists. In the works, Ellison's Invisible Man and Heller's Yossarian act in extreme ways as they struggle alone in chaotic worlds.

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