Satiric targets which are attacked in the novel 'Catch 22'

Essay by yaymeHigh School, 11th grade June 2004

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In the novel 'Catch 22' by Joseph Heller there are large amounts of satiric targets being criticised. Some of the main targets that he attacks include war itself and it's dehumanising effects, also the commanding officers that are in charge. Other targets, which Joseph Heller satirises, include the medical profession, their lack of care, attention and ability. Joseph Heller uses a large quantity of techniques, the key techniques including absurdity, exaggeration, burlesque and black humour to help convey his criticisms to the readers.

Joseph Heller is obviously criticising the dehumanising effects of war in his novel 'Catch 22'. Particularly how during war time people are desensitised to death. "And if you're destined to be killed over Bologna, then you're going to be killed so you might as well go out and die like a man." Additionally, Burlesque is used when Milo said, "You know, a thousand dollars ain't such a bad price for a medium bomber and a crew."

This being said after a bombing attempt of a bridge in which a plane and its crew was shot down due to Milo's contract with the Germans so he could make a profit. This clearly showing how soldier's lives are not valued and are seen as unimportant, that a to Milo, a profit is more of a concern than the lives of his fellow men. Again the lives of the soldier's are devalued as Colonel Cathcart volunteers his troops for a dangerous mission for his own benefit. "The sooner we get some casualties, the sooner we can make some progress on this." This referring to sending out condolence letters. These examples of burlesque are Joseph Heller's way of telling his readers how war leads people to desensitise human life. During war time people are also desensitised towards the killing of...