Essay on Theism versus Atheism in Catch-22
Joseph Heller's novel Catch-22 deals with many issues that mankind is prone to deal with. One issue that is raised is the subject of theism versus atheism.
This argument is manifested in a dialogue, approximately two pages in length, between Yossarian, the main character, and Lieutenant Scheisskopf's wife. In this particular scene, Yossarian and the lieutenant's wife are debating the existence of G-d, presumably in the Judeo-Christian sense. The scene begins with each character introduced as an atheist, although the degeneration of the argument eventually proves somewhat otherwise. Yossarian is portrayed as a character in a perpetually negative mindset; he is invariably bitter and …show more content…
Finally, however, it is possible that Heller used the wife's argument as a subtle contention against religion in the broader sense. Because she did not support her 'lack of faith in the good G-d' (190) with any information whatsoever, she may perhaps have been a representative of those with blind faith. She blindly disbelieved in a 'just G-d' (190), just as some would blindly believe in that same G-d.
It was implied in the novel that Catch-22 is a myth, invented by someone somewhere along the line and then enforced through others believing in its existence. This idea is also implied in the notion of G-d in the novel through this argument: G-d could quite possibly be a myth, invented somewhere along the