Catch 22 Analysis

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Joseph Heller details the mental and emotional trials of war through the main character Yossarian, in his novel Catch-22. Heller was born on May 1, 1923. He was raised by his two parents, Isaac and Lena Heller. Once he was old enough, he enlisted with the United States Air Force and became a B-25 wing bombardier. He flew a total of 60 missions, and even became first lieutenant. Between 1948 and 1950, Heller attended multiple colleges including the University of Southern California, New York University, and Columbia University (“Joseph Heller”). Heller published his first major work, Catch-22, in 1961. He then became a serious full-time writer by 1975. His major works include Something Happened in 1974, Good As Gold in 1979, God Knows in…show more content…
The minds of the men turn darker as the novel goes along, further representing the major theme of “crazy” throughout Heller’s writing. There is an inevitable truth that war and its wages forces man to succumb to psychotic fears and actions.
Likely as a result of war, Yossarian is presented with an irrational fear that anyone and everyone is out to kill him. Even from the beginning of the novel, it is stated multiple times that Yossarian presumes that people are intentionally trying to harm or kill him. From an outside point of view, it may seem quite ridiculous, but given the circumstances and stress he is put under, it is obvious why he feels this way. An example of a stressful situation in which Yossarian reacts with his fear is the line, “The crawlway was Yossarian’s lifeline to outside from a plane about to fall, but Yossarian swore at it with seething antagonism, reviled it as an obstacle put there by providence as part of the plot that would destroy him.” (48). Throughout the book, other characters make it known that Yossarian has a complex. Clevinger gives his description of the psychotic pilot: “Gasping furiously for air, Clevinger enumerated Yossarian’s symptoms: an unreasonable belief that everybody around him was crazy, a homicidal impulse to machine-gun strangers, retrospective falsification, an unfounded suspicion that

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