Catch-22

There's always a "Catch"

Catch-22 is a novel that tells many stories, but the crux of the novel concerns Joseph Yossarian, a bombardier stationed at the United States Army Air Force base on the fictional Mediterranean island of Pianosa. A war rages between the Allies and the Nazis, but there is another, more important war occurring for Yossarian - a far more personal war. His war is not only against the Germans but also against anyone else who tries to kill him, including the military hierarchy that demands that he continue to fly combat missions. According to Robert M. Young, Yossarian's only goal is to "live forever or die in the attempt, and his only mission...[is] to come down alive" (Young). To Yossarian, the war begins to seem quite mad. Leon F. Seltzer states that Yossarian lives in a "nightmarish world in which one's superior...officers constitute a greater threat to one's life and sanity than the enemy" (188). Officers in the military should be models of leadership to their subordinates, setting an example and putting the needs of the men under their command before their own desires. The officers in Catch-22, however, abuse their power in order to achieve some personal goal: public recognition, promotions in...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 741 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4429 literature essays, 1449 sample college application essays, 183 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in