The Hypocrisy of Distortion in Catch-22
Joseph Heller's novel Catch-22 is represented through “a long series of similar ironies” (wikipedia.org). The utilization of distortion is seen in numerous instances to get his views across. But what is distortion? Distortion is “a statement that twists fact” (thefreedictionary.com). In other words, a misrepresentation that Heller uses many times in these ironic situations. Of these works of irony, the distortion of justice, influenced by greed and the problematic personal integrity, are some of the major themes to grasp the concept of what a “catch-22” really is.
In Chapter 5, Yossarian asks Orr if there is a possibility he can stay on the ground. People who are considered crazy are those who become grounded. Here, Orr could only become grounded if he sent a request to fulfill that duty. Turns out Orr did not make the request because he is crazy. All at the same time, remaining in these air-based combat missions. If he were asked to remain on the land, he would actually be normal — not insane. Because of the code that exists in the 256th Bombardment Squadron is really a “catch-22”, it represents that there is no way out of war because they must listen to their authority figures to tell them what to do. This behavioral theme in Catch-22 covers most of what a “catch-22” can be interpreted as.
Another example of distortion used in Catch-22 can be seen throughout the instances among Yossarian and Luciana. Luciana is a women that Yossarian has multiple sexual affairs with. In Chapter 16, Luciana gave Yossarian her address and almost as soon as she had left, he tore the piece of paper into little pieces. Her address was forever lost. He feels a deep compassion for Luciana that he has never felt with any other women. He asks her to marry him and she rejects because she is unspoiled, or not a virgin. Yossarian gets to the point where he needs Luciana by his side. And his lust for affairs turns into a need for a...
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