Catch-22 Analysis

In: English and Literature

Submitted By malandry
Words 510
Pages 3
The title Catch-22 means a contradictory course of action. Within the book, Catch-22 is used as a military rule. Basically, a pilot could be grounded from flying missions if the military deemed a pilot crazy. According to the rule, however, only a rational mind would be concerned for one's safety in the face of danger. Therefore, there is absolutely no way to for a pilot to become grounded, whether the pilot was sane or insane. There are a few other cases where this rule, Catch-22, is explained throughout the novel. The author sums it up best: "If he flew he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to." In Catch-22, a few of Joseph Heller's most important ideas that he is trying to convey are the absolute power of bureaucracy, the advantages people take in a free enterprise system, and the dehumanization of the pilots. The underlying idea that bureaucracy has total control over the war is evident throughout the novel. Throughout the novel we are told about the pointless missions Yossarian's squadron are forced to fly in. The commanding officers are risking the lives of their soldiers only for personal gain. The whole idea of people taking advantage of a free enterprise system is clearly portrayed throughout the novel. Throughout the novel, Milo is capitalizing on the goods that both sides need. He is taking complete advantage of the system and is making a fortune running a black market syndicate. He will even sacrifice his fellow American soldiers to make a quick buck. Heller shows the dehumanization of the pilots through the impersonal destruction of individuals. Some die through systems created by societies in order to wage war. Most of the pilots, however, end up dying through direct combat because of the pointless missions they are sent on by Cathcart. The soldiers' dehumanization is further emphasized because the pilots did…...

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