The Ultimate Catch; An Analysis of "Catch 22"

Essay by EJAC09High School, 10th gradeA-, September 2007

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Catch 22, the hysterical novel written by Joseph Heller, is the story of a bombardier in World War Two named Captain John Yossarian. Yossarian wants nothing more to leave the clutches of War behind and return home, to the United States. Over the course of the novel, Yossarian and the other members of his platoon must endure a bizarre string of events white prove their existence as nothing more than resources for the officer who are ranked higher than them. The soldiers find them selves as no more game figurines in the United States' game of war, dictated by it's every move. Yossarian tries everyway imaginable to escape the demands of war. He tries to fake insane, sick, and to physically escape, yet every time he finds himself getting caught by one major catch; Catch 22. Undefined throughout the novel, catch 22 is an infamous military code that prevents soldiers from leaving the war.

As the novel progresses, Yossarian begins to doubt the actual existence of the catch, and instead assuming that it&'s an illogical argument that justifies Yossarian and his men being used by the dominant totalitarians that control the military; and make their own laws.

The setting of Catch 22 is important to the development of both the themes and plot in the novel. Catch 22 occurs on Pianosa, a small island off the coast of Italy in the Mediterranean Sea. The island in itself represents a catch for Yossarian. He and his platoon are stationed on the small island; stuck in the middle of battle, and unable to leave. The year is 1944, and towards the end of WWII, taunting Yossarian with hopes of the end. Although the book takes place in World War Two, the satirical nature of the novel allows the book to...