Joseph Heller who is perhaps one of the most famous writers of the 20th
century writes on some emotional issues such as war. He does not deal with these
issues in the normal fashion instead he criticizes them and the institutions
that help carry these things out. Heller in fact goes beyond criticizing he
satirizes. Throughout his two major novels Catch-22 and Good as Gold he
satirizes almost all of America's respectful institutions. To truly understand
these novels you must recognize that they are satires and why they are.
Catch-22 is a satire on World War II. This novel takes place on the
small island of Pianosa in the Mediterranean sea late in the war when Germany is
no longer a threat. It is the struggle of one man, Yossarian, to survive the war.
Throughout this novel Yossarian is trying to escape the war, and in order to do
so he does many improper things.
Good as Gold is about a Jewish man named Gold. It is about Gold's
experiences with the government while being employed in the White House. It also
deals in detail with Gold's family problems and Gold's struggle to write a book
on the contemporary Jewish society.
Throughout these two novels, Catch-22 and Good as Gold, Heller
criticizes many institutions. In Good as Gold it is the White House and
government as a whole, and in Catch-22 it is the military and medical
In Catch-22 the military is heavily satirized. Heller does this by
criticizing it. Karl agrees with this statement by offering an example of the
satire of both the military and civilian institutions in Catch-22:
The influence of mail clerk Wintergreen, the computer
foul-up that promotes Major Major, and the petty
rivalries among officers satirizes the communication
failures and the cut-throat competition Heller saw
within both the civilian and military bureaucracies of
the 1950's. Even the Civil Rights movement, not yet... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(1999, 10). Catch 22: Satire on Wwii. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 1999, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Catch-22-Satire-Wwii-4659.html
"Catch 22: Satire on Wwii" StudyMode.com. 10 1999. 10 1999 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/Catch-22-Satire-Wwii-4659.html>.
"Catch 22: Satire on Wwii." StudyMode.com. 10, 1999. Accessed 10, 1999. http://www.studymode.com/essays/Catch-22-Satire-Wwii-4659.html.