Being involved in War Has Made Us Insane: The Book "Catch 22"

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William Shakespeare, the great playwright and dramatist, once wrote, “Though this be madness, yet there is method” (“”). A person may act crazy, say insane things, and commit mad acts, but the person themselves may not truly be derailed. Often, people’s seemingly irrational behaviors could be judged reasonable if put into the correct context. In Catch-22 nearly all the men act crazy, but are reasonably sane at the same time. Most of them believe that war is insane, and being involved in the war has made them all insane too. Chaos induces crazy behaviors in people that, in reality, may only be tactics used to stay alive, sane, and safe. Sometimes the chaos itself is not only the cause of insane actions, but an insane notion on its own, only be rationalized by those who truly believe in it. Throughout the book, Yossarian’s sanity is constantly in question. One example of this is when he thinks everyone is out for him specifically. Although he is in a war that is enemy against enemy, both sides trying to exterminate every opponent possible, Yossarian thinks, “they’re trying to kill [him]” and wonders, “why…they are…shooting at [him]” (Heller 24). Yossarian seems paranoid in his thinking that no matter who he’s fighting for, or against, everyone is out to get him. This mad way of thinking can actually be rationalized as a sort of subconscious defense mechanism. This paranoia actually allows Yossarian to stay mindful of his surrounding affairs, helping him stay safe and alive. The other men continually question his sanity, but it seems that his delirious way of thinking actually serves a very reasonable purpose. Yossarian also uses conscious survival tactics that seem neither very safe nor sane until they are scrutinize... ... middle of paper ... goal. Insanity shows its perverse face thourgh the mens actions and thoughts that are only inspired by the insanely inconsistant war. In Catch-22 we witness war warping many mens perceptions on life. At first glance, these men say and o things we would never imagine saying or doing causing us to judge these actions as insane. Once we disect the actions and thought processes, we see that these people may seem insane, but are acctually doing everything they can to stay alive. A revaltion like that allows us to see them, once again, as normal sane people. A country goes to war in the hopes of protecting the freedoms of the common people. Often times, the war becomes a type of insane slavery of our own free and sane people. There is madness in war, causing madness in its participants. The participants of war may seem mad, but often there is method to their madness.

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