War Satire In Joseph Heller's Catch-22

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War is something that has followed humanity since the beginning. From the very

beginning of time humans have been fighting each other, stealing each other’s resources, and

trying to assert dominance over others. Because of its omnipresence, war has been explored in

literature countless times. One of the most unique experiences of war and literature is the novel

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. Catch-22 is war satire, set in World War II and follows the actions of

a bombardier, Captain John Yossarian stationed on an island base off the coast of Italy, Pianosa.

As Yossarian explores his war-torn society he digs and finds layers upon layers of insanity and

cruelty. In his work, Catch-22, Joseph Heller uses morality, mortality, and absurdity to

demonstrate how
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Heller demonstrates the theme of morality in one more important way. This time it is the

in the morals of those who are supposed to be enforcers of the rules. Nearing the end of the book,

Yossarian finds himself walking through the streets of Rome during the night. During this walk

he witnesses various scenes of violence, including a man beating a child, a man desperately

calling for help from the police as the police dragged him away, and an old woman being chased

down the street. Yossarian only watched in the face of all the injustices. A critic comments on

this scene: “In each scene, narrated in surreal fashion, representatives of military or police law

fail to protect the innocent, or worse, perpetrate the crimes. Yossarian 's witnessing of these

events signifies not only the inefficacy of systems meant to prevent atrocity, but also the

devastating effects of war on noncombatants” (Adams). The adult should be one to take care of a

child not beat it to the point where his ears start to bleed. The police should be stopping

kidnappers, not become the kidnappers themselves. The elderly should be respected not

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