Four Deadly Sins in Catch 22.

Essay by -=wc=-University, Master'sA-, December 2003

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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 four of them: lust, sloth, pride and greed (avarice).

The Wordsmyth English Dictionary defines lust as a "strong feelings of sexual desire". This is portrayed by Hungry Joe, the "utterly demoralized men of distinction" (363), or, even better, by Captain's Scheisskopf's wife.

Hungry Joe "was always trying to take pictures of naked girls". He would always try to persuade naked girls to pose for him. He would try to impress them by telling them that he's a "big photographer from Life magazine" (61).

But we all know that this is a respectful magazine, in which a naked girl's picture would never be published. He even refers to them as "instruments of pleasure"; talk about objectifying someone!

The "middle-aged big shots", that kept Nately's whore a prisoner of the hotel suite, would not let her go before she says "uncle" (363). Even after they all slept with her and did make her say uncle, at more than one occasion, they wanted her to act interested and laugh with them instead of being sleepy, even after twenty-two hours on the job. They paid her a hundred dollars and expected her to sleep with all of them and do whatever they asked her to do to make them feel less insecure.

As for Lieutenant Scheisskopf's wife, she would take off her Wac uniform "every weekend for every...