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The Conflict Of Bureaucracy, Religion, And Death

1577 words - 7 pages

Sometimes things do not make sense; this is why, when authors cannot make sense of things, they decide to write a novel to express their confusion. This is how the novel Catch-22 was born from the mind of Joseph Heller. Humor is effectively shown throughout the book, nuzzling its way in between sentences as Heller digs into tough subjects such as bureaucracy, loss of faith, and death. The novel is told in third person; although it turns its focus primarily on Yossarian, what happens to him, and how he feels; he is the protagonist. After reading this novel one would believe it to be a war novel as it takes place during World War 2, but it can also be labeled as a satire under further ...view middle of the document...

A climax is reached when two Colonels (including Cathcart) offer him a way home if only he supports him. But a flashback of Snowden’s death makes Yossarian question himself. What does Yossarian do? Read the novel to discover the falling action and resolution. The novel has an odd quirky sense of humor that makes it hard to read sometimes. At other times it is monotonous and uses large complex sentence and paragraph structures. But with patient, slow reading, the novel nurtures excellent humor, deep questions, and meanings that are still relatable to today. A Chaplain in the Air Force finds it hard to keep to his religion during a time of war, and confusion brings the theme of losing faith. This is very relatable and important to the novel as well as today’s world due to struggling people throughout the world. Overall, Catch-22 is instructive and relatable to todays times making it a practical book to read for an AP student.
Now that the content is fresh in everyone’s heads it will make it much easier to discuss the author’s opinion and the issues the book raises. Joseph Heller’s voice is defining and bold throughout the novel, almost impossible to miss. Since the novel was written only ten years after World War 2 it is understandable the tone of bitterness he has for the war. But, he goes beyond to raise the question of death in a unique tone not commonly heard from other authors. The bitter fact is that death is going to happen and that there is absolutely nothing one can do to stop it, it’s inventible. Another agreeable point Heller brings to the table is loss of religious faith. When someone is constantly questioned and separated due to religion, faith is a difficult thing to hold on to. Lastly is bureaucracy and how the military runs during a war. Many times throughout the novel people will find themselves laughing at the stupidity of the leaders and how things are run. Heller simply exaggerates these ideas due to the novel being realistic fiction, but what he does bring up is easily believable and makes one wonder if the way the government runs is productive and pure. Although Heller exaggerates many ideas to create humor, all points seem valid to some extent. Catch-22 explores the issues of commanders running the squadrons of the Air Force being opposed to elected officials (bureaucracy.) This is seen when one of the antagonist Colonel Cathcart raises the number of missions needed to return home far above any other squadron. Beyond that, there are points where there are silly, sarcastic, stupid rules made to run the squadrons. Heller suggests the removal of these leaders as one of the men in the squadron by the name of Dunbar contemplates killing Cathcart. This is also proven when Milo, the mess hall cook, starts a trading business that falls due to a poor decision. Although these points seem accurate and logical, Heller leaves out a few points. During a time of war on this large of a scale it would be impossible to accommodate the...

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