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by Joseph Heller

Analysis: What's Up With the Epigraph?

Epigraphs are like little appetizers to the great entrée of a story. They illuminate important aspects of the story, and they get us headed in the right direction.

This island of Pianosa lies in the Mediterranean Sea eight miles south of Elba. It is very small and obviously could not accommodate all of the actions described. Like the setting of this novel, the characters, too, are fictitious.

This epigraph by Joseph Heller describes the setting of the novel. He introduces the ironic tone of the book by glibly saying this island is too small to accommodate all the action.

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