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Catch-22 - Research Paper Example

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Personal Rebellion in Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 was first published in 1961. This novel added a concept to the American colloquial speech and a word to the dictionary: “a difficult situation or problem whose seemingly alternative solutions are logically invalid” (Hoberman 9)…
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Extract of sample "Catch-22"

Download file to see previous pages He was ready to comply with the U.S. Air Force standard of twenty-five combat missions and go home. However, Colonel Cathkart dreaming of fame at any cost, patriotically increases the number of required missions and it makes Yossarian’s desire to go home unreal. Actually, in some time Yossarian begins to fight worse and worse. Going up in the air he has a single goal – to return alive, and he totally does not care where they drop bombs – on the enemy’s object, or in the sea. But the commanders fight bravely, ready to carry out the most daring operations, as long as their subordinates risk their lives. They heroically disregard the dangers borne by others. It is not a problem to bomb the Italian mountain village, even without warning civilians. They are not afraid that there will be casualties, since it will create a perfect jam for enemy equipment. They are fiercely fighting each other for a place under the sun. Thus, General Peckem is plotting the defeat of the insidious enemy, which is the other American General Dreedle. For the sake of the general’s epaulettes Cathkart mercilessly exploits his pilots. Each of the many characters in this literary mural has its own war to win in, and for the victory they would spare neither effort nor life, someone else’s life. ...
, gaining freedom), it serves not only to reveal the image of the protagonist of the novel Yossarian, but also the ideological and philosophical perspectives of Catch-22. Images and perspectives are revealed step by step: with each new episode of the central themes of the novel acquire new sensual fullness and variety of interpretations: The most significant aspect of the structure of Catch-22 is its chronology. Behind what appears to be merely random events lies a careful system of time-sequences involving two distinct and mutually contradictory chronologies (Gaukroger 71). This is largely due to the multi-faceted structure of the novel, “disparate elements of its structure as the seeming chaos of its surface text and its unrelenting comedy” (Woodson 153). Chaotic at first glance, the text of the first chapters of in the end of the novel acquires a clear structure; isolated episodes are arranged into a single event line. With immersion into the atmosphere of Catch-22 a comic element is reduced to a bitter sarcasm and almost disappears in the final chapters. According to Joseph Heller: But certainly there is nothing funny about death; there is nothing funny about the death of a young man, and the fact I often in Catch-22 present the death of somebody in a flippant or disrespectful way was not only intended to have almost a contrapuntal effect—to avoid sentimentality—but also to make it perhaps more effective by dismissing the seriousness of death briefly as well (quoted in Meredith 50) Absurdity, which at the beginning of the novel is perceived more as a literary device, is gradually revealed as an existentialist category. The same event is described repeatedly, shown through the lens of views of different characters, the same facts are presented in different ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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