Catch-22 may be defined as a situation in which there is only one outcome because of a set of mutually conflicting dependent conditions. In Joseph Heller’s war-based novel Catch-22 which is set during World War II, there are many different themes which all in some way are caused by the paradox that can help describe the concept of a Catch-22 situation. Many of these themes are expressed in many ways that caused a great deal of suffering to the characters that experienced making the tough choices. The power hungry bureaucracy running Captain John Yossarian’s base has made conditions for their troops hard. This caused a culture of fear and the likelihood of death. For the troops to come to grips with reality and wanting to avoid one situation they for some reason found themselves fall into another complicated situation thereby creating the Catch 22. Death is one of many themes that come up in Catch-22. Many troops, Yossarian included have a fear of dying and are trying to make sure they survive at all costs so they many return home. Being surrounded by war, violence and death has caused many of the troops to lose faith and let fear get the best of them. The colonels and commanders in Yossarian’s base are extremely non-reasonable and non-considerate of their troops. They are just commanders who are worried about having power over their troops and winning the war at any cost. The leaders were concerned about impressing their own superiors and getting promoted. The many themes found in Catch-22 have made the lives of the troops on Yossarian’s base miserable and painful. The decisions that their leader’s make and rules that are set upon them only make it worse and make the troops want to quit and go home. This p...
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...die in dignity on a hospital bed instead of dying a painful and shameful way on the battlefield. During the war many troops had different kinds of fear and every one of them was affected differently but the pain was the same. Their lives and deaths were not decided by their decisions but by the frightening power hungry bureaucracy. The men were basically put in a position where they have to fly on more missions and risk their lives even though they know the missions are useless. The soldiers in the war are dehumanized by the military and their rule of a Catch-22 that basically gave the soldiers the same fateful result no matter what choice they made. Their lives are in danger one way or another. There is no way of escaping the painful deaths, fears and the bureaucracy. The troops not knowingly joined a Catch-22 army where they had to do whatever they were told to do.
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