Essay On Lack Of Meaning In Catch 22

891 words - 4 pages

Lack of Meaning in Catch 22

 
   Most of what we say has no meaning. This idea is supported on every page of Joseph Heller’s Catch 22. Almost every scene in the novel contains dialogue where the people speak aimlessly and have no explanation for why they are talking.

 

Colonel Cargill addresses his men by saying, "You're American officers. The officers of no other army in the world can make that statement. Think about it."  Even though the remark is true, it has no meaning. These type of random statements and dialogues occur throughout the whole book. Another situation when two people speak without making any sense is when Clevinger is being questioned. "I didn't say you couldn't punish me," said Clevinger. "When?" asked the colonel. "When what, sir?" "Now you're asking me questions again." "I am sorry, sir. I'm afraid I don't understand your question."  Later in the interrogation, the colonel is so twisted in his conversation that he no longer wants to know when Clevinger said that he could not be punished. He now wants to know when Clevinger did not say that he could not be punished. Clevinger quickly rebuts and states, "I always didn't say you couldn't punish me, sir." Finally, the colonel is satisfied with that answer even though Clevinger's statement did not answer the question and has no meaning.

 

Major Major often spoke with a lack of meaning. He simply did not make sense. For instance, he told Sergeant Towser, his assistant, "From now on, I don't want anyone to come in to see me while I'm here."  According to this statement, when would anyone be able to see him if they could only go to his office when Major Major was out? When Appleby once went to see Major Major, he started to talk to Sergeant Towser. "About how long will I have to wait before I can go in to see the major?" "Just until he goes to lunch," Sergeant Towser replied. "Then you can go right in." "But he wont be there then. Will he?" "No, sir. Major Major won't be back in his office until after lunch." 

 

The famous catch 22, stated that one can only be grounded from flying if he/she is crazy. However, if one asks to be grounded, he/she is no longer considered to be crazy and the soldier would have to fly more missions. Yossarian always fell into this trap. He wants to be grounded but he couldn't be considered insane because he keeps on asking to be grounded. Dr. Stubbs comments about Yossarian's catch 22. He says, "That crazy bastard may be the only sane one left." This obviously represents a complete contradiction. When Orr explains why he walks around as a kid with crab apples in...

Find Another Essay On Essay on Lack of Meaning in Catch 22

Essay on Satire and Black Humor in Catch-22

2937 words - 12 pages Satire and Black Humor in Catch-22         The only thing going on was a war, and no one seemed to notice but Yossarian and Dunbar. Yossarian is one of the few "normal" characters found in the books, or at least he thinks he is. As the story progresses, it appears that no one is "normal." Values either no longer apply, or do in reverse. In this backwards world of Catch-22, where everyone is crazy, Heller uses black humor and satire to make

Essay on Greed for Power and Money in Catch-22

987 words - 4 pages Greed for Power and Money in Catch-22   Although Catch-22 is a novel that entirely takes place at war, the book uses comedy to emphasize the physical and emotional pain of war. The novel shows us how people are changed by war and how their focuses are changed through different experiences. Many of the people in the book are disgusted by their commanding officers and the conditions around them. Joseph Heller served in the war and

Catch-22 Essay

1495 words - 6 pages accompanied by the writers' deep down intention to achieve a form of self-expression, to voice their opinions on social or political issues or beliefs to the general public. "Catch-22", the renowned American anti-war novel written in 1961, serves the similar purpose. In this novel, the author Joseph Heller employs various kinds of literary techniques, such as satire, surrealism, exaggeration and irony, apart from his brilliantly crafted plots, in order to

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

717 words - 3 pages 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

Satire in Catch-22

2207 words - 9 pages context of knowing Heller’s own experiences with war, his words become full of life and meaning, seemingly directly contradicting his previous implications on language. Scholar and well-respected essayist Scoggins reminds his reader’s of Heller’s service as a bombardier in World War II through writing, “Many of the characters and incidents in Catch-22 were in fact drawn directly from Heller’s tour of duty, and were simply modified or exaggerated

Informative essay on specific aspect of "Catch 22" by Joseph Heller

807 words - 3 pages The Lack of Comprehensive Speech in Catch 22Most of what we really say has no meaning. This concept is perfectly supported in Catch 22, by Joseph Heller. Almost every character and scene in the novel contain dialogues where the people speak aimlessly and have no explanation for why they are talking. Colonel Cargill addresses his men by saying, "You're American officers. The officers of no other army in the world can make that statement. Think

Psychology in Catch-22

4770 words - 19 pages Psychology in Catch-22 Catch-22 is a black comedy novel about death, about what people do when faced with the daily likelihood of annihilation. For the most part what they do is try to survive in any way they can. The book begins, 'The island of Pianosa lies in the Mediterranean Sea eight miles south of Elba.' That is the geographical location of the action. Much of the emotional plot of the book turns on the question of who's crazy, and

This essay includes the book "Catch-22" by Joseph Heller in a 6 page paper on the importance of aircraft in WWII

1691 words - 7 pages Mitchells, the planes flown in Catch-22, and attacked the Japanese mainland. Proving that Japan was not prone to attack, and boosted morale of the Allied Powers, especially the U.S.One of the most important uses of aircraft in World War II was one of the actions that ended the war. The bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, with atomic weapons. The first bomb was dropped on August 6th, 1945, and the second on the 9th. The B-29 Super Fortress the

Satirical elements of Catch 22

1354 words - 6 pages What the heck was Heller up to? That is a simple, yet daunting question. In the 1961 novel Catch 22 Joseph Heller was poking fun at not only the United States Army but the entire human race. He often would point out how there was a lot of disorientation in the army and how nine out of ten times no one would know what was going on. Heller being the former veteran he was probably had a few experiences with not knowing what was going on. He

Irony in Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

878 words - 4 pages 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). You would have expected Heller to write he was proudest of the club that he built but he says the opposite and that is the irony.   Catch-22 is based totally on the use of words like these ones. Heller totally keeps the reader on their toes by the use of

Four Deadly Sins in Catch 22

1260 words - 5 pages Heller's satiric work, "Catch-22", is full of maddening contradiction. The characters are in a state of war, yet their actions and reactions are not what you'd expect them to be. He uses black humor and satiric catalogues to show us the insanity of war as well as the nonsense of modern day capitalism. Through the many different ways the characters act and conduct themselves, they illustrate the seven deadly sins. In this essay, we will examine

Similar Essays

Title: "Stupitidy In The Ranks" This Essay Explains The Lack Of Logic In Military Bureaucracy Found In The Book "Catch 22" By Joseph Heller

1561 words - 6 pages "Catch-22" is a novel written by Joseph Heller about the occurrences in an American military base during World War II. The book is a satirical view of the lack of logic in military bureaucracy. This attack on militaristic logic is found in the fact that the superior officers refuse to listen to reason, the fact that the men hate each other more than they hate the enemy, the fact that the superior officers in the book have no respect for the

Essay On The Evils Of Capitalism Exposed In Catch 22

1541 words - 6 pages had become one of the men who "got fat and moved about with toothpicks in their greasy lips" (259). Therefore, even he who refuses to conform to other standards is corrupted by the sweet blandishments and innocent appearance of capitalism. The novel thus ends on the note that no one remains free from so powerful a force. Works Cited Heller, Joseph. Catch-22. New York: Knopf, Inc., 1995.

Essay On Social Commentary In Catch 22

2257 words - 9 pages portrays in his novel. Set in the final months of World War II, Catch-22 tells the story of a bomber squadron on the mythical island of Pinosa, just off of Italy. The story is told through the eyes of Captain John Yossarian, one of the few sane men in the novel, who sees all of the impossible situations his squadron is placed in. "For Catch-22 is the unwritten loophole in every written law which empowers the authorities to revoke your rights

Essay On Theism Versus Atheism In Catch 22

808 words - 3 pages 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