Catch 22 Literary Analysis

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Catch 22 is a historical fiction novel written by Joseph Heller that follows the occurrences and events surrounding Captain John Yossarian during his time as a fighter pilot flying for the Allied Powers during World War II. The pilots experience constant fear of death and anxiety, causing rash decisions, forcing them to do things they would not in normal circumstances. The majority of the events in the novel pertain to the troops’ daily life and their reactions to occurrences and unfortunate events. Heller had personal experience with war, as he himself was a bombardier in the Second World War. His unique perspective and experience allow the novel to have an overall hyper-realistic and detailed atmosphere, leading the reader to believe that he himself most likely had moments where he suffered psychologically from the events of the war. Anxiety and fear of death cause the troops to act and make decisions in a manner they normally would not, seen in their strange decisions, behavior, lack of loyalty, and the presence of insanity within the men. The unyielding agitation and uneasiness is relentless and causes the airmen to act in a strange and unusual manner when compared to their normal mental status. “You’re inches away from death every time you go on a mission” (Heller 48). The author shows the weight of the situation and what the airmen are putting on the line every time they are assigned a new mission with this quote. This almost definitely affects them psychologically,

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