This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Catch 22 Essay

1495 words - 6 pages

Catch-22 Essay Jackie Yang 12BPrompt: some novels and plays seem to advocate changes in social or political attitudes or in traditions. Examine the particular attitudes or traditions that Heller apparently wishes to modify. Then analyze the techniques Heller uses to influence the reader's views. Avoid plot summary.Great literatures always speak for the authors. Throughout the history, literary works that have been created were so often accompanied by the writers' deep down intention to achieve a form of self-expression, to voice their opinions on social or political issues or beliefs to the general public. "Catch-22", the renowned American anti-war novel written in 1961, serves the similar purpose. In this novel, the author Joseph Heller employs various kinds of literary techniques, such as satire, surrealism, exaggeration and irony, apart from his brilliantly crafted plots, in order to satirize the corrupted political bureaucracy, the dominant profiteer social capitalism and the tradition of blindly obeying orders among soldiers. Throughout his narration, Heller expresses his disgust towards such social and political attitudes and tradition, with an evidently strong wish to advocate changes to our whole society.To begin with, writing the novel in the military context, the author has put an emphasis in his narration on the corruption and the absurdity of bureaucracy. Two of the most important points the author has highlighted when ridiculing the government institution were the pursuit of power and the blindness of people who stiffly follows the prescript instructions.Firstly, the depiction of the character Colonel Cathcart, a greedy, power-hungry and ambitious officer, serves as a great example to illustrate the deep corruption within the military ruling class. Without a trace of compassion or sympathy towards his men, Colonel Cathcart cares only about his promotion to become a General. He keeps increasing the number of missions of his soldier to keep them flying: "The colonel keeps raising them every time I get close" (174) moans Yossarian, the protagonist of the novel. Apparently the rule of flying mission was only a hideous scheme crafted by the authority, which has no intention to send the soldiers back home at all. Moreover, "Colonel Cathcart had courage and never hesitate to volunteer his men for any target available" (55), just to demonstrate his ability and "loyalty" to the country, without caring to the slightest whether his soldiers are going to come out of those mission alive. His complete ignorance towards human life strongly demonstrates the dehumanization of the absurdly corrupted government institution. War is not about war at all, but about fulfilling the personal interests of those with power. As for the soldiers, they serve as nothing more than chess pieces for the huge power play. The author has thrown a pungent irony through his depiction of the military officers in order to appeal to his reader's attention and...

Find Another Essay On Catch-22 Essay

Essay on Theism versus Atheism in Catch-22

808 words - 3 pages Theism versus Atheism in Catch-22        Joseph Heller's novel Catch-22 deals with many issues that mankind is prone to deal with. One issue that is raised is the subject of theism versus atheism.  This argument is manifested in a dialogue, approximately two pages in length, between Yossarian, the main character, and Lieutenant Scheisskopf's wife. In this particular scene, Yossarian and the lieutenant's wife are debating the

Essay on Satire and Black Humor in Catch-22

2937 words - 12 pages Satire and Black Humor in Catch-22         The only thing going on was a war, and no one seemed to notice but Yossarian and Dunbar. Yossarian is one of the few "normal" characters found in the books, or at least he thinks he is. As the story progresses, it appears that no one is "normal." Values either no longer apply, or do in reverse. In this backwards world of Catch-22, where everyone is crazy, Heller uses black humor and satire to make

Historical Literature Essay: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

624 words - 2 pages The phrase "Catch-22" was coined after the phenomenal success of the book by Joseph Heller. It became the defining term for every paradoxical agreement and decision from the time it was published. The profound affect of the satirical style it was written in opened the eyes of the public to a scam which that was veiled by the façade of patriotism but in reality, was just a method of covering greed. The complexity of military

Essay on Satire, Sarcasm, and Irony in Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

717 words - 3 pages Satire, Sarcasm, and Irony in Catch-22       Joseph Heller's narration, dialogue, and characterization in Catch-22 all create a unique perspective of war and our society's bureaucracy. The satire, sarcasm, irony, and general absurdity of the novel provide a view of the irrationality of man's behavior. The horror that is portrayed in Catch-22 is intensified by the humorous way in which it is portrayed. Distortion and exaggeration

Informative essay on specific aspect of "Catch 22" by Joseph Heller

807 words - 3 pages The Lack of Comprehensive Speech in Catch 22Most of what we really say has no meaning. This concept is perfectly supported in Catch 22, by Joseph Heller. Almost every character and scene in the novel contain dialogues where the people speak aimlessly and have no explanation for why they are talking. Colonel Cargill addresses his men by saying, "You're American officers. The officers of no other army in the world can make that statement. Think

The essay is about Yossarian's (main character of J. Heller's book Catch 22) heroic features. The topic is: "Yossarian is not a typical hero" Discuss

1146 words - 5 pages irrelevant, since due to uniqueness of every novel one can hardly formulate a typical main character.However the first condition for the typical hero to come about is the typical setting. For example one needs clearly distinguished good and evil forces, a problem to solve etc. "Catch 22" is not a typical novel - there are no clearly distinguished opposite forces: everybody can be justified - Americans are emancipating the country, Germans

This essay includes the book "Catch-22" by Joseph Heller in a 6 page paper on the importance of aircraft in WWII

1691 words - 7 pages themselves as a matter of political affiliation. Why war? Why are all these people trying to kill me ? Questions that many people have asked themselves during times of unrest and conflict. Yossarian, the main character in Joseph Heller's book, Catch-22, asks the same questions. Yossarian's desperate urge to live through the war in Catch-22 is a reflection of what people in war think about, survival. Aircraft are instrumental in modern day warfare

Title: "Stupitidy in the Ranks" - This essay explains the lack of logic in military bureaucracy found in the book "Catch-22" by Joseph Heller

1561 words - 6 pages "Catch-22" is a novel written by Joseph Heller about the occurrences in an American military base during World War II. The book is a satirical view of the lack of logic in military bureaucracy. This attack on militaristic logic is found in the fact that the superior officers refuse to listen to reason, the fact that the men hate each other more than they hate the enemy, the fact that the superior officers in the book have no respect for the

Psychology in Catch-22

4770 words - 19 pages have, of course, had in mind contemporary events as I have written this essay. I have, that is, returned to Catch-22, because present events in the world have revived the sense that wanton destructiveness lies very near the surface of human nature and can break through at any time in any place. In recent public discussions, the author has been heard to say that now is a good time to be old, since it is so hard to maintain hope in the face of the

Four Deadly Sins in Catch 22

1260 words - 5 pages Heller's satiric work, "Catch-22", is full of maddening contradiction. The characters are in a state of war, yet their actions and reactions are not what you'd expect them to be. He uses black humor and satiric catalogues to show us the insanity of war as well as the nonsense of modern day capitalism. Through the many different ways the characters act and conduct themselves, they illustrate the seven deadly sins. In this essay, we will examine


1121 words - 4 pages Milo Minderbinder In the novel, "Catch-22", many characters are described based on the perception of Yossarian, the main character. Yossarian is a flight bombardier in World War II and the novel focuses on his interactions and conflicts with the men and officers in his squadron, the medical staff, and the whores in Rome. One of the men in the Twenty-Seventh Air Force squadron is Milo Minderbinder. Milo is an intelligent, but heartless

Similar Essays

Essay On Social Commentary In Catch 22

2257 words - 9 pages Social Commentary in Catch-22       Life is filled with situations that are very difficult to find an escape. Even once in a while, life presents a situation that is beyond difficult, and completely impossible to escape from. These situations were expanded upon and brought to obvious light in Joseph Heller's novel, Catch-22. This novel was such a masterful work that the phrase, catch-22 came to be synonymous with the situations that Heller

Essay On The Evils Of Capitalism Exposed In Catch 22

1541 words - 6 pages Evils of Capitalism Exposed in Catch-22        "That's some catch, that Catch-22" (47). Some catch indeed, for Catch-22 "is the best there is" (47). A strange paradox preventing men from being grounded under any circumstances, Catch-22 eventually evolves into a justification for doing virtually anything. After all, it "says [anyone] can do anything [that] we can't stop them from doing" (416). A less obviously stated, but equally powerful

Essay On Lack Of Meaning In Catch 22

891 words - 4 pages Lack of Meaning in Catch 22      Most of what we say has no meaning. This idea is supported on every page of Joseph Heller’s Catch 22. Almost every scene in the novel contains dialogue where the people speak aimlessly and have no explanation for why they are talking.   Colonel Cargill addresses his men by saying, "You're American officers. The officers of no other army in the world can make that statement. Think about it."  Even

Essay On Greed For Power And Money In Catch 22

987 words - 4 pages Greed for Power and Money in Catch-22   Although Catch-22 is a novel that entirely takes place at war, the book uses comedy to emphasize the physical and emotional pain of war. The novel shows us how people are changed by war and how their focuses are changed through different experiences. Many of the people in the book are disgusted by their commanding officers and the conditions around them. Joseph Heller served in the war and