The tragedies and stories of World War II have been some of the most frequently documented of all time. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller is a fictional piece of literature that many have put in the genre of "dark comedy". Catch 22 is an odd sort of satire with no real solid plot, in its place can be found a series of smaller stories and anecdotes. In Catch 22 Joseph Heller makes a statement to its reader to break free from the system in which you live in and to not risk your life or ideals in order to serve someone else's selfish goals.
This idea is most clearly illustrated through the actions and thoughts of Catch 22's main character Yossarian. Yossarian is a captain in the air force and a lead bomardier in his squadron. Yossarian hates the war and does almost all in his power to avoid it.
The squadron's colonel, Colonel Cathcart, always volunteers his men to dangerous missions in order to be promoted to General. This is an example of a higher up in the army selfishly putting the lives of men at risk. Joseph Heller makes a special note of this action and how Yossarian disagrees with it.
Yossarian fakes various sicknesses in order to spend as much time in the infirmary and possible. While at the infirmary a soldier wraped in white bandages all Diaz 2 over is put in a hospital bed in the same room. The soldier in white cannot speak and cannot move and when he dies another soldier in white is placed in the same bed. All of the other sick or injured soldiers in the room never notice that he died and believe the second soldier in white to be the first. The soldier in white represents how the army treats its men as objects and holds no importance to their individual lives.
At one point in the novel Yossarian fakes insanity after hearing that he could be discharged from the army if he was insane. When Yossarian attempts his scheme his hopes of leaving the war are shut down as he finds himself stuck in a catch 22. By stating that he is insane, he must be perfectly sane to know it so he stays in the army. This and other circurlar reasoning keeps the struggles of the soldiers up and Yossarian in the army. The concept of catch 22 represents the system in which keeps Yossarian in danger and fighting in the war in which he hates.
"There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he would have to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle. "That's some catch, that Catch-22," he observed. "It's the best there is," Doc Daneeka agreed" Diaz 3 Catch 22 is one man's statement to the public. Through dark humor Joseph Heller tells of the evils of war and of following the system which others have put on you. Yossarian is the books main character and a passionate self-preservasionist who avoids being stuck in the system that has sucked up his squadron mates and has put other men to their death. Yossarian fights the power and is always striving to find a way out. By the end of the novel he escapes to Sweeden, succeeding in his fight against the system and experiencing self freedom and living life without fear of being killed or being put in a situation where he could eventually be killed. Joseph Heller's Catch 22 makes a statement to its readers to break free from the system, and live life the way you want to.
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