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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 lives of the killed men, the fact that there is general stupidity in the officers, and "Catch-22".From the beginning of the book the language used by the officers shows their defiance of logic. This defiance occurred when Scheisskopf, a Lieutenant, interrogated Clevinger, a member of the squadron who was perhaps the only one loyal to his country, but did not allow him to state his innocence because Scheisskopf kept correcting his grammar. Scheisskopf would not listen to his logical explanation but instead ridiculed Clevinger for addressing him in the wrong fashion. This in only one example of a time when logic is ignored; another occurs in the way that Yossarian, the protagonist bombardier, cannot explain to the superiors that continuing to raise the number of missions the men have to fly is illogical. Yossarian and the other men know that the war is ending because the Germans are falling apart but they are still forced to fly missions. When Yossarian tries to explain this to his superiors he is ignored, even though what he is saying makes sense. Because they ignore logic it stands to reason the officers have no logic at all. Because the officers defy reason at every turn, the system of the military becomes illogical.One of the main reasons that the military in "Catch-22" is illogical is that the allied men hate each other and their own superiors even more than the Germans. Clevinger described his allied comrades in this way:"These three men who hated [Clevinger] spoke his language and wore his uniform, but he saw their loveless faces set immutably into cramped, mean lines of hostility and understood instantly that nowhere in the world, not in all the fascist tanks or planes or submarines, not in the bunker behind the machine guns or mortars or behind the blowing flame throwers, not even among all the expert gunners of the crack Hermann Goering Antiaircraft Division or among the grisly connivers in all the beer halls in Munich and everywhere else, were there men who hated him more." (35)This quote paints a vivid picture of the hatred found between the troops. It is illogical that the men who are not fighting each other actually hate each other. It would make much more sense if the men hated the Germans but that is not the case in the bureaucracy of the military. Another example is found when Milo, the entrepreneurial mess officer, makes a deal with the Germans to bomb the island base where the Americans are based. He kills American men for German money. It is illogical for one to bomb his or her own base but...

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