"Catch-22: Controlling others" about the abuse of others through use of the English Language. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller.

Essay by UnseenvirusHigh School, 11th gradeA, March 2005

download word file, 3 pages 4.3 1 reviews

Downloaded 37 times

The manipulation of the English language in order to control others is a point that Joseph Heller emphasizes in his novel Catch-22. He shows how Wintergreen is in control of everything, the hypocrisy in the military hierarchy, and how Catch-22 itself works.

Throughout Catch-22, PFC Wintergreen, though of the lowest rank in the military, is in effect the most powerful person because he controls all communication where the novel takes place. PFC Wintergreen is not really even in Pianosa. Wintergreen is actually stationed Colorado, but all communication must go through him before it can be delivered to the recipient. He bends the rules, as Kennard said "Since the rules do not work, anything may happen. There is no reasonable justice."(Kennard, 77) Wintergreen makes the rules, since he has all real power. A perfect example of how he is really in control is his sabotage of Colonel Cathcart, "Actually, Colonel Cathcart did not have a chance in hell of becoming a general.

For one thing, there was ex-PFC Wintergreen, who also wanted to be a general, and who always distorted, destroyed, rejected or misdirected any correspondence by, for, or about Colonel Cathcart that might do him credit."(Heller, 225) This is one of the first instances where the author comes out and tells us that Wintergreen is in control, but during the book, Heller shows us that Wintergreen can't be stopped, and that no matter what he does, he will just go on with his job. "Each time [ex-PFC Wintergreen] went AWOL, he was caught and sentenced to dig up and fill holes six feet deep, wide and long for a specified amount of time. Each time he finished his sentence, he went AWOL again."(Heller, 114) Wintergreen acts like this because he wants to insure that he stays in a position of...