Catch-22: A Zeitgeist
AP Literature Period 6
5 February 2014
Catch-22: A Zeitgeist of World War II
World War II was one of the most widespread wars ever conducted. Over 100 million people, coming from about 30 different countries, participated in total war (Connaughton 41).
As the violent and passionate war went on, there was barely any distinction between civilians and soldiers as the war affected everyone so much. The airmen of World War II were treated unfairly and put through extremely harrowing conditions throughout their experience as part of the United States Army. Such a significant war has been widely documented from many different perspectives to bring nonparticipants into the war and give them a first-hand experience. Catch-22, a novel based on an actual experience, by Joseph Heller, a WWII bomber pilot himself, accurately discussed the mistreatment of troops, the poor decisions made by authority, and the horrors such as disease and rape that occurred throughout the Italian Campaign of World War II.
The Italian campaign of World War II was one of the most momentous efforts of the war.
The Allied forces traveled to Italy to invade Sicily as a decoy for the Allied forces so they could march through Nazi-occupied northern Europe without as much opposition from German troops.
They were determined to stay in Italy until the Germans surrendered. Nearly 650,000 men, from
Allied forces and German forces combined, died during the Italian campaign alone. The campaign was crucial to the outcome of the Second World War due to the fact that the Allied
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Matz 2 forces were able to push not only Italy to surrender, but Germany as well (Connaughton 42).
Yossarin, the main character of the novel Catch-22, was a bomber pilot during the campaign. He flew missions over Sicily and Rome, dropping bombs on unsuspecting German forces.
Throughout the novel he talks
Cited: Beevor, Antony. “The Second World War.” New York: Little, Brown and, 2012. Print. Stafford, David. "Mission Accomplished." History Today 61.10 (2011): 54-55. History Reference Center Connaughton, Joseph. "Operation Mallory Major." Aviation History 20.2 (2009): 40-43. History Reference Center Heller, Joseph. Catch-22. New York: Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 1961. Print. Forlenza, Rosario. "Sacrificial Memory And Political Legitimacy In Postwar Italy: Reliving And Remembering World War II." History & Memory 24.2 (2012): 73-116. History Reference Center. Web. 16 Jan. 2014. Weider History, Group. "Dispatches." World War II 25.3 (2010): 11-12. History Reference Center O 'Hara, Vincent P. "Risk VS Reward Off The Italian Riviera." Naval History 27.5 (2013): 56-61. History Reference Center. Web. 16 Jan. 2014. Wuthnow, Robert. “The Restructuring of American Religion.” New York Paperbacks, 1989. Carlyle Matz Friday, February 21, 2014 7:50:41 PM Eastern Standard Time