Catch 22

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  • Topic: World War II, Catch-22, Washington Irving
  • Pages : 4 (1266 words )
  • Download(s) : 86
  • Published : December 13, 2012
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Passage Analysis: Catch-22

Yossarian, the central character of the novel “Catch-22” by Joseph Heller, is a bombardier during World War II. In order to leave war, he attempts to have himself admitted to the hospital. There is a vast amount of irony throughout the passage. The hospital serves as the main physical setting of this passage and its significance will be further discussed. The author appears to use the rule of Catch-22, which states that patients who are mentally ill aren’t required to participate in war but anyone who wouldn't want to participate in battle would most definitely be sane, as a symbol of bureaucracy. Additionally, Yossarian’s role seems to be symbolic especially in regards to bureaucracy and the overall setting of the passage. In my opinion, Yossarian’s attempt to escape the war and the insanity involved with it is a symbol of refuge. Even though the hospital serves as protective shelter, it is also a reflection of the military as well as an institutional routine. Yossarian seems to have anti-heroic characteristic as his own values appear to be different than those of a standard hero however, he appears to be courageous in dealing with the bureaucracy and the restrictions involved with it. For example, he becomes involved in his own private war of language as a tries to fight off boredom in the hospital. This foreshadows the overall theme of the novel which to me is a senseless response (in this case, Yossarian’s response) to an absurd and senseless situation (catch-22). Catch-22 itself is nonsensical as it is contradicts its own purpose. The government is aiming to censor our all the questionable contents included in the letters while an officer is signing his name on the letter and ultimately censorship to be traced back to him. It can be concluded that at the end, the censored contents will eventually be revealed. Censorship plays an important role in how irony is used in this passage. Yossarian was required to censor letters...
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