Subjugation under Supposed Freedom in Catch-22

In the midst of World War II, apprehensive soldier and antiheroic bombardier John Yossarian endures the perpetual torment of war with a tenacious desire to escape. Witnessing a number of horrendous events and ceaseless bureaucratic absurdity, Yossarian and his companions struggle against the surreal parameters that define life in constant battle, and attempt to understand … Read moreSubjugation under Supposed Freedom in Catch-22

Daneeka and Thoughtful Laughter in Catch-22

George Meredith once reasoned, “The true test of comedy is that it shall awaken thoughtful laughter.” The importance of encouraging thoughtful laughter in comedy lies in its ability to humorously provoke reflection of some greater idea or theme. In the dark comedy Catch-22, Joseph Heller provides witty writing and action alongside meaningful themes, a combination … Read moreDaneeka and Thoughtful Laughter in Catch-22

The Unanswered Question: Holden Caulfield, John Yossarian and the Fate of Innocence

J.D. Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye and Joseph Heller’s novel Catch-22 reveal a concern for innocence within each protagonist. Salinger and Heller center their novels on questions relating to innocence: Holden Caulfield’s “where did the ducks go” (Salinger, 13) and John Yossarian’s “Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?” (Heller, 35). Both Holden and … Read moreThe Unanswered Question: Holden Caulfield, John Yossarian and the Fate of Innocence

A Story about a Yo-Yo: How Catch-22 comes full circle without being circular

It seems fitting that Yossarian’s nickname in Catch-22 is “Yo-Yo.” A yo-yo is a perfect metaphor for the recurring images of circularity and linearity that characterizes the chaotic world of Joseph Heller’s novel. On one hand, a yo-yo follows the straight-line, linear path of its string, but on the other hand, a yo-yo bobs up … Read moreA Story about a Yo-Yo: How Catch-22 comes full circle without being circular

The Portrayal of Capitalism and Free Enterprise in Catch-22

Joseph Heller wrote Catch-22 not only in order to make a statement about the absurdity of war, but also to illustrate the absurdity of the human condition itself. Through its style, language, and characters, Catch-22 vividly depicts the absurdity of life using World War II as its medium. One of Heller’s most significant parodies is … Read moreThe Portrayal of Capitalism and Free Enterprise in Catch-22

Individual and Collective interest in Politics

In Shakespeare’s King Henry IV, the people in the places of leadership manipulate the ordinary citizens for their own gain. In the wartime environment, basic common sense is sacrificed for the benefit and personal gain of people in power. Major Cathcart continually chases his desperate yet futile end goal of promotion, to the cost of … Read moreIndividual and Collective interest in Politics

War as Tragically Absurd: Catch-22 and Slaughterhouse Five

The concept of war is both gruesomely tragic, and deeply absurd. Through their respective texts, Catch-22 and Slaughterhouse-Five, authors Joseph Heller and George Roy Hill capture the very essence of war, and it’s tragic absurdity, though employing a range of stylistic techniques intended to engage, humour and shock the audience. Within Catch-22, Heller explores not … Read moreWar as Tragically Absurd: Catch-22 and Slaughterhouse Five

Love, Lust, Hatred: Is It All the Same in Catch-22?

During war, men and woman are swept by emotions that make it difficult to overlook their experiences in war. Jack Croasdile, a prisoner of war, drew under his captivity in 1941 by the Germans a picture titled Anticipating 1942. Featured in the picture, he and his deceased wife are covered by a shadow with their … Read moreLove, Lust, Hatred: Is It All the Same in Catch-22?