Catch 22

Soldiers serving during World War II faced hard times while fighting for their country. They were separated from their families and the traditional lives that they knew, and were suddenly thrown into a life of hardships and absurdities. As a result, they became alienated from the rest of the world and began to look at their lives in a pessimistic view. Heller portrays this separation from the traditional views through characters like Yossarian, Major Major, and the Chaplain throughout Catch 22. These characters play a major part in the story line as well as the themes presented in the novel such as absurdity of the war. Absurdity is used throughout the book and can be viewed as the illogical and pointless actions of the troops in combat and the officers controlling them. The absurdities that the characters had to face changed their views from positive to depressing feelings and alienated them from everyone else who was oblivious to the war. Specifically, Heller uses the alienation of Yossarian, Major Major, and the Chaplain to bring forth the issues of absurdity and hopelessness in World War II.
Heller uses the actions and thoughts of Yossarian to convey his existentialistic message of war and the uselessness of the men fighting war. "The only thing going on was a war, and no one seemed to notice but Yossarian … and when Yossarian tried to remind people, they drew away from him and thought he was crazy" (25). Yossarian is alienated from the rest of the soldiers because he actually recognizes that there is a war going on and he fears for his life. None of the other soldiers seem to care about their lives or what could happen to them by flying the missions. They just assume Yossarian is crazy for having such thoughts. One situation that Yossarian takes a stand on is when his superior Colonel Cathcart, repeatedly raises the number of missions that are required to go home. All the other pilots do not seem to mind having to fl…


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