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Fiction Analysis of Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

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Fiction Analysis of Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

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Fiction Analysis of Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Setting:
A. Time period – World War II (1939-1945)
B. Place – Pianosa, a small island off the coast of Italy C. Time Sequence – Most of Catch-22 is told out of sequence, with events from the past mixed in with events from the present. However, the book settles into a more chronological order as it approaches its end. D. Standards of Behavior – The social expectations are supposed to be in accordance to military tradition. But, the characters do not always conform to expected social behaviors.

Characters:

Yossarian – The protagonist of the novel, Yossarian is a captain and a lead bombardier in his squadron. However, he hates the war, and his powerful desire to live leads him to the conclusion that millions of people are trying to kill him. Thus, his primary goal throughout the novel is to preserve his life. He makes endless attempts to save his skin from the perilous missions that he is committed to flying, but he is prevented of doing so by the paradoxical law called Catch-22. In the end, however, he runs away, not caring about the disgrace that may taint his reputation.

Chaplain Tappman – One of the most decent characters in the novel and a consistent friend to Yossarian. He is sincere, kind, and introspective. Although he is timid and full of doubts and fears, the chaplain grows into a much more assertive force near the end of the story.

Milo Minderbinder – A powerful mess officer, Milo controls an international black-market syndicate and is revered in obscure corners all over the world. He relentlessly chases after profit and bombs his own men as part of a contract with Germany. Milo insists that everyone in the squadron will benefit from being part of the syndicate and that “everyone has a share”. He also takes his job as mess officer very, very seriously; as a result, the troops in Yossarian's division eat better than any others.  

Colonel Cathcart – The officer in charge of...