Catch-22 begins in an army hospital with John Yossarian on the island Pianosa. He is in the hospital because he is sick and the doctors are not quite sure why he is sick so they are just treating him for constipation. While there he is assigned the job of censoring the letters out of the hospital to the homes of the soldiers. He plays games with these letters such as blacking out all of the adjectives and sometimes taking out every a, an, and the out of the letters. This is odd because when you think of the armed forces it is supposed to be like a brotherhood so it makes you think that he would want his fellow soldier’s letters to get home to their families but instead he pretty much destroys the messages in them. Yossarian like any other sane individual does not want to get back to the fighting; he figures out that if he remains in bad health they can not send him on any more missions. The doctors think that there is something wrong with Yossarian’s liver so they give him fruit which is supposed to help your liver and make you healthy Yossarian never eats the fruit because he knows that it will make him better and that is what he does not want.
Yossarian has flown almost forty missions and forty is the required number of missions to complete to go home. He is now informed that the required number of missions for leave is up to fifty. Every time Yossarian is close to being able to leave the requirement is raised even higher and this makes Yossarian just want to go home. This shows the corruption of the military during World War II. The fact that they have to keep increasing the number of missions completed shows that the military was desperate for good soldiers.
In 1944 when Catch-22 takes place, there was no draft. The draft for World War II lasted from 1940 – 1943. There were seven draft registrations, the first was on October
16, 1940, and it was for all men 21- 31 years old living in the United States. The second was on July 1, 1941 for all men who turned 21 since the first registration, the third was on February 16, 1942 was for men 20 – 21 and 35 - 44 years old. On April 27, 1942 there was a fourth registration for men 45 – 65 who could not serve in the military, June 30, 1942 was for men 18 – 20 years old. The sixth registration date was from December 10 – 31, 1942 and this one was for men who had reached the age of 18 after the registration on June 30. Seventh and final registration date was from November 16 – December 31, 1943 for American men between the ages of 18 – 44 for American men living in foreign counties.
Heller shows corruption in this novel in many various ways. Another way is the way the army hospital goes about allowing soldiers leave. Yossarian is talking to Doc Daneeka, Yossarian asks the Doc if his room mate Orr is crazy and she says yes of course he is. Yossarian says so you can ground him right and she says yes I can ground him if he asks to be. Yossarian says that he will go tell Orr to request to be...