Catch 22 Analysis

This essay has a total of 1470 words and 6 pages.

Catch 22 Analysis


Comical in style and language, the message that Catch-22 introduces to its reader is one
of a grim world's decay. Heller's fictional story portrays absurd characters and
situations, but the underlying theme of human decadence is clearly visible, especially in
the last portion of the book. Heller's attitude towards his characters also gives way to
an overwhelming tone of pity and sorrow for the world and its population. The overall
theme of the novel depicts a decline in individuality, decay of human moral, and a certain
loss of awareness of both surrounding events and personal action. The wartime atmosphere
that surrounds the book and its characters has directly helped bring about all three
evils. Much of the blame can be placed in the hands of particular characters, such as
Milo, Aarfy, and Cathcart, who take advantage of the wartime hysteria for personal gain.
The rest can be accounted as the evils of war and the squadron's compliance to the wrong
doings.

Catch-22 distinctly depicts a certain loss of individuality among the soldiers of Pianosa.
Although the book starts with a variety of characters, who take part in different
activities that enrich their community, it shows a pattern of slowly diminishing
individuality among them. This trend become more apparent as the book progresses, and
eventually fosters situations that can be characterized as simply farce. One such incident
is clearly portrayed in SHITHEAD's parade strategies. As the book begins, SHITHEAD is
introduced as a lover of parades and little else. At first strict, wanting all soldiers to
march in perfect formation, he later wishes to string together all participants to create
a perfect march. His ambitions are hilarious at first glance, but it is evident that human
life holds little value in SHITHEAD's mind. He is only concerned with perfection and looks
to the soldiers as mere robots with no individuality and of only one use, to participate
in his parades. Seeing all soldiers as being the same, with little individuality, as shown
by SHITHEAD's thoughts, reveals that human life holds little value and is used merely for
the advancement of certain individuals. A similar situation can be seen in the manner
which Cathcart treats his squadron. He does not value the lives of his men, but even more
frightening, he places them in high-risk situations for personal gain without once
thinking of the consequence of losing his soldiers. This can clearly be seen every time
Cathcart decides to increase the number of missions to gain recognition for having flown
the most missions. Cathcart views the soldiers as mere stepping stones along his path
towards fame, all serving a soul purpose to advance him in the military world.

Comical in style and language, the message that Catch-22 introduces to its reader is one
of a grim world's decay. Heller's fictional story portrays absurd characters and
situations, but the underlying theme of human decadence is clearly visible, especially in
the last portion of the book. Heller's attitude towards his characters also gives way to
an overwhelming tone of pity and sorrow for the world and its population. An overall theme
of the novel depicts a general loss to humanity, in particular a distinct loss of
individuality among the soldiers of Pianosa. The wartime atmosphere that surrounds the
book and its characters helps bring about this evil. Much of the blame can be placed in
the hands of particular characters, such as Milo, Scheisskopf, and Cathcart, who take
advantage of the wartime hysteria for their personal gain. The rest of the blame can be
accounted as the evils of war and the squadron's compliance to the evil around them.
Although the book starts with a variety of characters who take part in different
activities that enrich their community, it also shows a pattern of slowly diminishing
individuality among them. This trend become more apparent as the book progresses, and
eventually fosters situations that can be characterized as simply farce.

One such incident is clearly portrayed in Ssceisskopf's parade strategies, who is
introduced as a lover of parades and little else. At first strict, wanting all soldiers to
march in perfect formation, he later wishes to string together all participants to create
a perfect march. His ambitions are hilarious at first glance, but it is evident that human
life holds little value in Scheisskopf's mind. He is only concerned with marching
perfection and looks to the soldiers as mere robots with no individuality and of only one
use, to participate in his parades. His parade strategies represent the soldiers'
overwhelming acceptance of ridiculous rules and the entire trend towards becoming robot
like figures of the army, and his preposterous regulations and reasoning connects this
part of the book to the overall picture representing the loss of individuality throughout.
Seeing all soldiers as being the same with little individuality, as shown by Scheisskopf's
thoughts, reveals that human life holds little value and is used merely for the
advancement of certain individuals.

Continues for 3 more pages >>