Catch-22 Theme of Insanity

2799 WordsAug 30, 200612 Pages
During the early nineteen forties, war was raging throughout the world. Countries sought to obliterate each other and eradicate all forms of existence outside of their own perimeter. While bombs were being dropped by the hundreds and bullets being fired by the thousands, families back home yearned for the safe return of their newly drafted instruments of war: their husbands and sons. The soldiers of the Fighting 256 Squadron fight their desperate battles against the odds, against the battles of fatigue and torture, against the deadening will to survive. Joseph Heller's masterpiece Catch-22 has enlightened generations of readers to the insanity caused by corrupt bureaucracy and the pseudo-law of Catch-22. Heller's creation of the…show more content…
"I live in the woods…Chief White Halfoat swore he was going to cut my throat some night when I was fast asleep, and I don't dare lie down in the squadron while he's still alive…and Major Major said he would cut my throat if I ever spoke to him again" (Heller 287-88). Flume has migrated into the forest because he is so afraid of having his throat cut while he sleeps. He is undoubtedly crazy because of the extreme actions he has taken because of Major Major and Halfoat's threats. In the end of the novel, Yossarian experiences some great enlightenment and decides to himself that his unbeatable problems can only be solved if he runs away from them. "A war novel which ends with the desertion of the hero is obviously not heroic and Catch-22 is in fact a pretty thorough debunking job" (Wain 46). Every officer the reader meets in the story is either an insane lunatic or a blockheaded fool. These maniac officers are an obvious influence to Yossarian's reasoning for running away. They tried to trick him with their elaborate scheme of court-martialing him, at the end of the book, which is another influence to his running away. The only intelligent "characters who show any great zeal for their duties are plainly ticketed as floperoos, duped into playing the game of General Dreedle, General Peckem, Lieutenant Scheisskopf and the rest of the Dickensian crew" (Wain 46). Heller creates the

More about Catch-22 Theme of Insanity

Open Document