Catch 22 Analysis Essay Research Paper Comical

Catch 22 Analysis Essay, Research Paper Comical in style and language, the message that Catch-22 introduces to its reader is one of a grim world?s decay. Heller?s fictional story portrays absurd characters and situations, but the underlying theme of human decadence is clearly visible, especially in the last portion of the book.

Catch 22 Analysis Essay, Research Paper

Comical in style and language, the message that Catch-22 introduces to its reader is one of a grim world?s decay. Heller?s fictional story portrays absurd characters and situations, but the underlying theme of human decadence is clearly visible, especially in the last portion of the book. Heller?s attitude towards his characters also gives way to an overwhelming tone of pity and sorrow for the world and its population. The overall theme of the novel depicts a decline in individuality, decay of human moral, and a certain loss of awareness of both surrounding events and personal action. The wartime atmosphere that surrounds the book and its characters has directly helped bring about all three evils. Much of the blame can be placed in the hands of particular characters, such as Milo, Aarfy, and Cathcart, who take advantage of the wartime hysteria for personal gain. The rest can be accounted as the evils of war and the squadron?s compliance to the wrong doings.

Catch-22 distinctly depicts a certain loss of individuality among the soldiers of Pianosa. Although the book starts with a variety of characters, who take part in different activities that enrich their community, it shows a pattern of slowly diminishing individuality among them. This trend become more apparent as the book progresses, and eventually fosters situations that can be characterized as simply farce. One such incident is clearly portrayed in SHITHEAD?s parade strategies. As the book begins, SHITHEAD is introduced as a lover of parades and little else. At first strict, wanting all soldiers to march in perfect formation, he later wishes to string together all participants to create a perfect march. His ambitions are hilarious at first glance, but it is evident that human life holds little value in SHITHEAD?s mind. He is only concerned with perfection and looks to the soldiers as mere robots with no individuality and of only one use, to participate in his parades. Seeing all soldiers as being the same, with little individuality, as shown by SHITHEAD?s thoughts, reveals that human life holds little value and is used merely for the advancement of certain individuals. A similar situation can be seen in the manner which Cathcart treats his squadron. He does not value the lives of his men, but even more frightening, he places them in high-risk situations for personal gain without once thinking of the consequence of losing his soldiers. This can clearly be seen every time Cathcart decides to increase the number of missions to gain recognition for having flown the most missions. Cathcart views the soldiers as mere stepping stones along his path towards fame, all serving a soul purpose to advance him in the military world.

Comical in style and language, the message that Catch-22 introduces to its reader is one of a grim world?s decay. Heller?s fictional story portrays absurd characters and situations, but the underlying theme of human decadence is clearly visible, especially in the last portion of the book. Heller?s attitude towards his characters also gives way to an overwhelming tone of pity and sorrow for the world and its population. An overall theme of the novel depicts a general loss to humanity, in particular a distinct loss of individuality among the soldiers of Pianosa. The wartime atmosphere that surrounds the book and its characters helps bring about this evil. Much of the blame can be placed in the hands of particular characters, such as Milo, Scheisskopf, and Cathcart, who take advantage of the wartime hysteria for their personal gain. The rest of the blame can be accounted as the evils of war and the squadron?s compliance to the evil around them. Although the book starts with a variety of characters who take part in different activities that enrich their community, it also shows a pattern of slowly diminishing individuality among them. This trend become more apparent as the book progresses, and eventually fosters situations that can be characterized as simply farce.

One such incident is clearly portrayed in Ssceisskopf?s parade strategies, who is introduced as a lover of parades and little else. At first strict, wanting all soldiers to march in perfect formation, he later wishes to string together all participants to create a perfect march. His ambitions are hilarious at first glance, but it is evident that human life holds little value in Scheisskopf?s mind. He is only concerned with marching perfection and looks to the soldiers as mere robots with no individuality and of only one use, to participate in his parades. His parade strategies represent the soldiers? overwhelming acceptance of ridiculous rules and the entire trend towards becoming robot like figures of the army, and his preposterous regulations and reasoning connects this part of the book to the overall picture representing the loss of individuality throughout. Seeing all soldiers as being the same with little individuality, as shown by Scheisskopf?s thoughts, reveals that human life holds little value and is used merely for the advancement of certain individuals.

A similar situation can be seen in the manner which Cathcart treats his squadron. He does not value the lives of his men, but even more frightening, he places them in high-risk situations for personal gain without once thinking of the consequence of losing his soldiers. The soldiers have little value and are readily replaceable in the army. In Cathcart?s eyes, the soldiers of Pianosa are no different from each other, because they serve to accomplish only one thing, to fly missions. This can clearly be seen every time Cathcart decides to increase the number of missions to gain recognition for having flown the most missions. Cathcart views the soldiers as mere stepping stones along his path towards fame, all serving a soul purpose to advance him in the military world. The belief that soldiers are easily replaceable serves to show that all of the soldiers are the same in the eyes of those in charge. Each soldier has no individuality, serving as vesicles of war. Through this portrayal, Heller points out that people today too often follow a norm or accept rules that categorize them, making them nothing more than statistics and names.

Another example, and perhaps an even more terrifying portrayal of the loss to individuality, can be seen in the section introducing Giuseppe, the man who saw everything twice. Introduced in a very comical and amusing manner, Giuseppe is the soldier whose story later inspires Yossarian?s to pretend to ?see everything twice? to be excused from flying more missions. The doctors in the hospital experiment with new drugs and procedures on Giuseppe until he finally can endure no more and dies. Giuseppe is no longer a patient, he becomes nothing more than a cadaver, there for the doctors to carry out experiments on. The fact that the book rarely uses Giuseppe ?s real name and instead call him ?the soldier who saw everything twice? only supports the underlying theme of loss of individuality. In a later scene, after Giuseppe dies, Yossarian, the only other soldier who pretended to see everything twice, was asked to pose as Giuseppe when his family visits him on his deathbed. At a first glance the scene ?s obvious situational irony is hilarious, but Heller?s message of human indifference is frightening. To the doctors, patients are simply statistics and all the same. But even more horrifying is Giuseppe?s family?s reaction to Yossarian on the deathbed. They were thoroughly accepting of Yossarian to be their own son and Giuseppe?s brother even believed that Yossarian was the name of his brother. This clearly depicts that not even a person?s name gives individuality to him. Heller clearly indicates that in today?s society people are accepting of what they are told, taking away from individual thought and individuality.

Heller, through Catch-22, depicts today?s world and satirizes much of its faults. One of the more pronounced themes in the book centers on a certain loss to human individuality. Catch-22 creates many scenes that clearly present this loss in its many aspects. In general, the soldiers of Pianosa are looked upon as a ready supply of man power for the war as opposed to different individuals with different skills and ambitions. Through viewing all of the soldiers as simple replaceable robots of war with only one purpose, those in charge do not come to value their lives. Those in charge also come to abuse the soldiers to gain personal fame and success. Heller portrays the evils of today?s society through the lives of fictional characters in World War II, showing that the themes of the book, even that of overlooking one?s individuality, are universal and can happen. The book serves as a reminder and a warning to its readers to strive to better the world from deviating from the flaws portrayed in Catch-22.