Something Happened Summary
Joseph Heller

Everything you need to understand or teach Something Happened by Joseph Heller.

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Something Happened Summary

The title of Heller's second novel reveals its major theme — that there is an unidentifiable something that happened to create anxiety and disillusionment in its Everyman protagonist.

Through Bob Slocum's middle-age crisis, Heller confronts us with the truth that as humans age, they lose innocence and confidence in their ability to shape their destinies. Success in the corporate world does not guarantee happiness. Dreams of family affection and harmony are quickly dispelled by the realities of combativeness, insecurity, and guilt that characterize the Slocum family's interactions. Bob Slocum's idealism becomes transformed into acceptance of life's banalities. As Heller explains, Something Happened "is a very bleak book, a melancholy illumination on the part of a man in his forties who looks at his past and looks at his present and tries to see some kind of future and sees not much of any."

Moreover, not only does the...

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Something Happened Short Guide