Paradoxical Analysis In Joseph Heller's Catch-22

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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.…show more content…
This is achieved by using compound-complex sentences that contradict themselves to show how there is no escape from flying missions. One of these sentences is used when referring to Orr. As of this discussion, Orr is viewed as crazy (although this is disproved later when he crashes his way into Sweden), yet he can’t get off from combat duty because to get off “all he would have to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions” (cite). The paradox is supported by this syntax structure because it is tailored to allow Heller to contradict himself all in one idea. This is continued in a slightly different way with the dialogue between Yossarian and Doc Daneeka, except here they use short simple sentences that either confirm the other or contradict the other. One example of this is when Yossarian asks if Doc Daneeka can ground Orr, asking “Can you ground him?”, referencing the idea of Orr asking to be grounded because he is crazy, and Doc responding “No, I can’t ground him.” (cite). The effect of this is that the short, simple sentences are naturally read through at a quick pace by the reader, which in turn adds to the confusion of why Orr can’t be grounded until the framework of Catch-22 is revealed. Once Catch-22 is explained, the former makes perfect sense. Along with specific sentence…show more content…
However, it is not as illogical as it seems. While those that have gone crazy may present a danger to others in their plane, they still are useful to those in charge. Because the definition of “crazy” is to not have fear in the face of real and imminent danger like a rational mind, those that are crazy end up being more effective than those that may put their safety in front of the objective. One example of this is when everyone discovered that Yossarian was crazy by making a second pass over the bridge in _____ to destroy it, which cost the life of one of his team members (cite). While a rational mind would have not put their own lives in the way of the bridge, the irrational, crazy mind would, which led to the bridge being destroyed, which would have not been destroyed had Yossarian been sane. Once Catch-22 is coupled with the arbitrary raising of the number of missions that are required to earn leave from combat duty, it becomes clear that the implementation of Catch-22 and the raising of combat missions are actually the result of the Cornel Cathcart attempting to earn himself declaration and fame for his men’s “bravery” (cite). This leads to one of the major themes of the book, which is that when operating in a bureaucracy, certain people are enabled to put their interests in front of the interests of others, whether it is supporting the interest of their

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