Significant Texts in Any Period Arise from Particular Ways of Thinking and Possess an Enduring Relevance.

Significant texts in any period arise from particular ways of thinking and possess an enduring relevance.

The ‘After the Bomb’ period is one that encompassed significant shifts in the philosophical, religious, economic and scientific domains, and these pivotal changes in humanity are reflected in Cold War texts. Texts that are significant within the era are those that transcend the conceptual parameters of the society they were produced in, and in turn, questioned and redefined the values of their time. Cold War texts that have made deep impressions on human culture and have ultimately endured the test of time, all explore Postmodern ways of thinking that have the power to break down assumptions and accepted truths in society. Postmodernism was a paradigm that arose as a reaction-developed out of- to Modernism, which valued reform and a questioning of traditions. Postmodernists of the 1970s embraced differing interpretations, ambiguity and deconstructed accepted truths, however Postmodern ideas are embedded in texts prior to the movement. Heller’s Catch-22 and Beckett’s play Waiting For Godot use forms and features to raise Post-Structuralist notions where the concept of language as meaningless is portrayed, and the attempt to convey truth through communication is disrupted by the single act of communicating them; while the play and Yates’ novel Revolutionary Road create a striking subversion of the Christian metanarrative in order to question their audience’s reliance on a false sense of security and finality. Kubrick’s film Dr. Strangelove and Heller’s Catch-22 explore the role of humour and ambiguity in provoking the audience to question the assumption that advancing scientific understanding contributes to the amelioration of humanity. These Cold war texts deconstruct and challenge the accepted values of their era, and present avant-garde viewpoints during transitional times where modernism was on the cusp of change.

Heller and Beckett’s texts are examples...