Essay Joseph Heller's Catch 22 and World War II

1044 Words5 Pages
In all of history, no war seems to have touched the minds of people everywhere as much as World War II has. This war brought about some of the worst violations of human rights ever seen. The German military created a system for the public to follow, and if the individual opposed, he was oppressed. This kind of mentality is presented in the novel, Catch-22 (1955).
Joseph Heller uses the insane situations of the setting and his characters to show a unique perspective on World War II.
A small Army Air Corps base serves as the setting for Catch-22. It is set on a fictitious island called Pianosa. The island is described as very small and is located in
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This is why the military is able to make the soldiers do whatever they want them to do. The characters are persuaded to believe in the system rather than oppose it. Yossarian seems to be the only one who sees the insanity of this situation.
This scenario is almost like the one initiated by Adolph Hitler in Germany at this time.
Hitler saw the people of Germany as impressionable and easily swayed. He used propaganda to make them do whatever he wanted. It was through this course of action that 6 million Jewish people were mass murdered. Heller makes it all the more ironic that this same kind of mentality is being used by the American military in his novel, and he projects his attitude towards war through this irony. Heller portrays the military as a self-contradictory and oppressive force. He sees the military as taking away a soldier’s individuality.
The struggle for individuality by each character is evident throughout the novel. Their experiences make the scenario believable to the reader. Each character represents an attitude in the system. Milo Minderbinder and Colonel Cathcart are great representatives of the military. To them, the soldiers are seen as tools to further their careers. Milo Minderbinder, a military authority figure, is in charge of business decisions made during the war. He uses his powers to create a syndicate called the
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