Catch-22 by Joseph Heller Essay

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller Essay

Length: 1193 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

History teaches us that war and hate begin when governments believe that the price of aggression is cheap. War is an iniquitous entity, which affects not only those who are involved but also those who support it. Both Catch-22, by Joseph Heller, and the movie, The Bridge on the River Kwai are anti-war in their philosophy. However, the comic novel takes a different path from the tragic path of the film. The novel and movie incorporate similar themes and characterizations of certain characters in order to express the anti-war philosophy. However, other aspects of the novel and movie, such as the idea of insanity and the introduction of the commanding officers, illustrate many clear differences between the movie and novel. These similarities and differences, in the way how both the novel and movie promote the anti-war philosophy, help us to broaden our understanding of the mentality of military officials during war and how war either corrupted, murdered or displaced the mental stability of soldiers and their commanding officers.

Catch-22 and The Bridge on the River Kwai share common themes, such as ambition, anti-war, and the concept of Catch-22. In Catch-22, the officers in Colonel Cathcart's squadron are in a Catch-22 situation because Colonel Cathcart's fad ambition to become general and to impress his superiors, influences him to consistently raise the number of missions required for each officer to fly. This prevents any officer from Colonel Cathcart's squadron from ever escaping the evil clutches of the military life. Similarly in The Bridge on the River Kwai, Commander Shears is in a Catch-22 situation because he is forced to either participate in the sabotage of the bridge with Major Warden or have his felony exposed to...


... middle of paper ...


... in his pursuit to live. Lieutenant Joyce is similar to Clevinger and Nately from the novel because they are patriotic, loyal and eager to fight despite having rudimentary skills. However, one significant difference is that Joyce is shier than Clevinger and Nately because Joyce is more hesistant to express his opinion in front his commanding officers than compared to Clevinger and Nately who openly confess their opinions to Yossarian.

In conclusion, despite some minor differences Catch-22 and The Bridge on the River Kwai share common themes in ambition, anti-war philosophy, corruption and the concept of Catch-22. In both of these stories, the enlisted men are subject to the senseless will of their commanding officers, and often suffered as a result. War doesn't only affect the officers involved in both stories but they also affect those who inanely support it.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller Essay

- There was dead silence in his office, the kind of silence that should never be disturbed. The look of determination on his face was uncanny. Every single move he made was precise and delicate. Colonel Cathcart slowly rolled a few inches away from his desk in his chair, just enough so he could stand up. At a snail's pace, he stood up never taking his eyes off his masterpiece. Cathcart's hand was shaking immensely as he lifted the playing card up to complete his beloved tower. ‘KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK' Cathcart's body jumped in surprise, causing his hand to jolt at the sound of the noise....   [tags: Joseph Heller Catch 22]

Free Essays
1891 words (5.4 pages)

Literary Analysis of Joseph Heller's Catch 22 Essay

- Literary Analysis of Joseph Heller's Catch 22 Laughing in the face of war and death, literally, is one of the things that make the novel Catch-22 by Joseph Heller such an intriguing and original story. It was written in 1961, a time when, due to the fighting of the Second World War, all war novels were written with a dark and dreary tone, while still trying to continue the pre-conceived romantic notions about war. However, Joseph Heller strips away all of the romantic pretense, and pulling heavily on his own Air Force experience during WWII, presents war in its most raw, un-censored version....   [tags: Heller Joseph Catch 22 Analysis]

Strong Essays
1786 words (5.1 pages)

Joseph Heller's Catch 22 Essay

- Joseph Heller's Catch 22 Catch 22 is a satirical novel written by Joseph Heller. It is a story about American army pilots on an island near Italy in the end of World War II in 1944. Catch 22 is a story about how the main character John Yossarian wants to get out of the army and how he tries to act insane so he can be declared unfit to fly any more missions. It is a satirical antiwar novel. It was considered very unusual and was critisised by reviewers when it was first published in 1961. It contains “black humour” because it makes fun out of the horror of war and shows how stupid some of the rules of the army are....   [tags: Heller Book Review]

Free Essays
1078 words (3.1 pages)

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller Essay

- In the novel “Catch 22” by Joseph Heller, shows many types of flaws. The novel shows the reader the gender expectations from when the country is at war and when there is peace. The author, Joseph Heller, presents critical feminism in the disadvantages and expectations of men and women, where men are forced to engage in war while women are looked down on in the society. Both parties are mistreated by abusive power but had no way out. There are specific expectations and guidelines for the behaviour of men, especially during the war period, they are enforced to act audacious and proud....   [tags: novel analysis]

Strong Essays
749 words (2.1 pages)

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller Essay

- Taking place during World War II, the novel “Catch-22” introduces Captain John Yossarian, who is in the United States Air Force, while in a hospital acquiring from an illness of his liver. He is constantly concerned that people are trying to kill him, proving in postponing his number of missions and going to extremities at times such as poisoning his own squadron and moving the bomb line during the Great Big Siege of Bologna. Yossarian’s character endeavors at all costs to stay in the hospital by reason of "There was a much lower death rate inside the hospital than outside the hospital, and a much healthier death rate....   [tags: story and character analysis]

Strong Essays
912 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on Catch 22 By Joseph Heller

- Death can play an immense role in our lives, especially for those who are living in a war. Even one death among thousands can have a massive effect on something. This is the case in the book Catch 22, by Joseph Heller. Throughout the book many of the soldiers try to do as little work as they can concerning the military. They care only about themselves and thus try to only do work that brings benefits for them. Although, when it comes to matters concerning themselves many any willing to do anything to accomplish their own goals....   [tags: Catch-22, Yossarian, Doc Daneeka, Orr]

Strong Essays
1087 words (3.1 pages)

Essay about Irony in Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

- Irony in Catch-22 by Joseph Heller        According to The Merriam - Webster Dictionary "Irony is 1.) the use of words to express the opposite of what one really means 2.) incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the expected result" (380) In Catch-22 the type of irony that Heller uses is the second definition "incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the expected results" (Merriam - Webster Dictionary 380). For example in Catch-22 Heller writes "Actually, there were many officers clubs that Yossarian had not helped build, but he was proudest of the one on Pianosa" (18)....   [tags: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller]

Strong Essays
855 words (2.4 pages)

Catch 22, By Joseph Heller Essay

- If their is a bureaucracy, then their is bound to be catches. In Joseph Heller’s satirical World War Two novel, Catch-22, Catch-22 is one of them. As Yossarian, a military bombardier, and other soldiers try to find a way out of flying more combat missions after the amount required for leave was raised, they come across Catch-22, which keeps them locked in combat indefinitely. Thesis - In the passage, Heller uses circular reasoning, syntax, and logos to explain Catch-22, a paradoxical clause that is designed to keep all men in combat duty, whether they were genuinely crazy or not....   [tags: Catch-22, Yossarian, Doc Daneeka, Closing Time]

Strong Essays
1169 words (3.3 pages)

Joseph Heller's Catch 22 Essay

- Catch 22 Comparison Paper Catch 22 by Joseph Heller is a complex and intricate novel. Heller uses many themes, does not have the story line in chronological order and often uses irony in his descriptions. Many of the themes can be compared to other literature. One of the themes that can be compared is fear in war. The idea is that the evils and cruelty of war can make a grown man go back into a "fetal" state. This can be seen in The Ball Turret Gunner by Randall Jarrell and can be compared to the metaphor used in chapter five of Catch 22....   [tags: Comparison Compare Contrast]

Strong Essays
1108 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on Satire, Sarcasm, and Irony in Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

- Satire, Sarcasm, and Irony in Catch-22       Joseph Heller's narration, dialogue, and characterization in Catch-22 all create a unique perspective of war and our society's bureaucracy. The satire, sarcasm, irony, and general absurdity of the novel provide a view of the irrationality of man's behavior. The horror that is portrayed in Catch-22 is intensified by the humorous way in which it is portrayed. Distortion and exaggeration highlight the characters and scenario while magnifying the confusion....   [tags: Catch-22 Catch 22 Joseph Heller]

Strong Essays
700 words (2 pages)