Catch-22 I Can See Clearly Now Essay

1010 WordsApr 23, 20125 Pages
I Can See Clearly Now Flannery O’Conner argued that “[Distortion] is the only way to make people see”. This famous statement is initially contradictory and incongruous, but in Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 it is easy to see the truth of this paradox. The pages of Catch-22 are lined with distortion and each instance provides for a new kind of clarity. Catch-22 is simply a war story illustrated by ridiculous behavior and illogical arguments and told in a flatly satirical tone. Though the book never states outright that matters are funny, the reader is always aware of how outrageously bizarre the characters and situations are. Heller uses out of sequence narration, a confused distinction between appearance and reality, and the irrationally…show more content…
With Snowden lying dead in his arms, the truth of war becomes even more frightening and real and Yossarian becomes truly paranoid. Without the focus that the scattered and repeated storyline of Snowden provides, one may not have been able to grasp its true significance. Often times Catch-22 is characterized by a very loose grip on reality. The line between what is apparent and what is real is continually indistinguishable, even to readers. One aspect that contributes greatly to this effect is the distortion of justice and the military technicalities. In the military world created by Heller, what is written on paper is what is true, even if it can be defied by reality. Throughout much of the book, Yossarian is found complaining that there is a “dead man”(24) in his tent. When the concept of the dead man is first introduced, the readers are led to believe that there is an actual dead soldier sitting in Yossarian’s tent, which the military refuses to remove. However, later clarification shows that is not the case at all, but rather, after setting his luggage down, the soldier was killed in the air before he even got the chance to sign in. The grim irony of the situation is that according to the appearance based logic of the military, it is as if the man was never there at all, and his things can therefore not be processed. Another example of such distorted reality is found in McWatt’s

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