May 1, 1923 ± December 12, 1999


Joseph Heller was born in Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York as the son of poor Jewish parents from Russia. In 1942, at age 19, he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps. Two years later he was sent to Italy, where he flew 60 combat missions as a B-25 bombardier. BAfter the war, Heller studied English at the University of Southern California. California. He taught composition at Penn State University and briefly worked for Time. Time. He died of a heart attack at his home in December 1999, shortly after the completion of his final novel, Now and Then: From Coney Island to Here (1998)     

Recalling, Recalling, Not


plot is important, but feelings / thinking of characters jumping, not coherent / logical text, usually just description of situations / settings / feelings of characters ... breakdown of communication different fragments are 


Frequent Text

broken into fragments put together in book 

Chapter named according characters, but chapter is not only about the one protagonist who has been mentioned in title of chapter Feeling that lines / chapters / themes are randomly chosen Irony / black humor / absurdity / paradox Usage of other languages ± French in Rome Real life is mentioned ± sex, prostitution, swear words, nudity, description of Rome nudity, Meditation about life, death, God, justice, time, years God, justice,     


type of work: a comic but serious US novel (1961) (film version was made in 1970) about the madness of war, specifically antinovel - new novel - a fictional work characterized by the absence of traditional elements of the novel, such as coherent plot structure, important are feelings / mind of character / thinking, reducing of facts, omniscient narrator ... thinking, facts, genre: satirical war novel (It is one of few antiwar works - opposed to war.) war.) narrator: The anonymous narrator is omniscient (he knows everything), seeing and knowing all things. The narrator presents characters and events in a humorous, satirical light but seems to have real sympathy for some of them as well. setting (time /place): Near the end of World War II Pianosa, a small island off the coast of Italy in air base number 256 of American army.    

point of view: The narrator speaks in the third person, focusing mostly on what Yossarian does and what Yossarian thinks and feels. Occasionally, the narrator also shows us how other characters, such as the chaplain or Hungry Joe, experience the world around them. tone: The narrator presents ridiculous / funny behavior and illogical arguments in a flatly satirical tone, never stating outright that matters are funny, but always making the reader aware of how offensively strange the characters and situations are. tense: The story is written in the past tense. Although the book settles into a more chronological order at the end, most of Catch-22 is told out of Catchsequence, with events from the past mixed in with events from the present = antichronological ± mixture of tense   

major conflict: Yossarian struggles to stay alive, despite the many parties who seem to want him dead. themes: the absolute power of bureaucracy, lost of bureaucracy, religious faith, atheism (Corporal Whitcomb - The faith, chaplain¶s atheist assistant), the impotence of language (eliminated words in letters by Yossarian or when Snowden dies in the back of the plane, all that Yossarian can think of to say is ³there, there,´ over and over. He knows his words have no power to comfort Snowden, but he does not know what else to do.), the necessity of death, lack of communication, death, communication, justice (Major Major is promoted because of a computer error. In the world of the novel, men are error. rewarded for wrongdoing and punished for being capable. When the Man in White is found dead by the nurse, she is blamed for his death by the men. None of them thinks that she actually did anything to kill him; her declaration that he is no longer alive is what makes her guilty.), prostitution, misogyny, racism guilty.) prostitution, misogyny, (Chief White Halfoat ± Indian from Oklahoma), Oklahoma), brutality / violence  

motifs: Catch-22 (A phrase describing a paradoxical Catchsituation where a person feels trapped. A bogus army regulation. Its twisted logic makes it impossible to avoid combat, to exercise independence, or to disobey superior officers.), number of missions (The officers.), number of missions is the primary trap from which the men in the squadron are unable to escape: each time Hungry Joe completes his missions or Yossarian comes near completing them, the number is raised yet again. The required number of missions, is what prompts Orr and Yossarian to look for alternative methods of escape.), Washington Irving (ideal name escape.), for bureaucracy) symbols: the soldier in white (a bandage-wrapped, bandagefaceless, nameless body that lies in the hospital in the first chapter of the novel, represents the way the army treats men as interchangeable objects), hospital and beach ( places of relaxation, good place for escaping from horrible reality), Snowden¶s death (reality of dead, dead is very closed with lifes of dead, soldiers), Rome (place of happiness for soldiers ± love / sex, but also full of dangerous situations), rain (hope, they can't fly, when it is raining, cloudy, ...)  

idea: Criticism of absurdity of war and killing, military machine and the bureaucracy. protagonist: John Yossarian, an Air Force captain and bombardier in Pianosa other point: Closing Time (1994), which is about the (1994), characters of Catch-22 when they are older Catchother works of Heller: Something Happened (1974) Good as Gold (1979) God Knows (1984) Picture This (1988)    



MAJOR CHARACTER: YOSSARIAN - Yossarian¶s characteristics are not those of a typical hero. He does not risk his life to save others; in fact, his primary goal throughout the novel is to avoid risking his life whenever possible, he shouldn't risk his own life in order to save everybody else¶s. = ANTIHIRO Even though he is determined to save his own life at all costs, he also cares deeply for the other members of his squadron and is traumatized by their deaths. He has still feeling, that somebody wants to kill him. He has strong selfselfpreservation. OTHER POINTS ABOUT HIM ± he likes chess, he lives in the best tent with his best friend Orr, he usually pretends ache of liver, when he wants to go to hospital for relaxation and for escaping from horrible world there, he controlled letters and signs them as Washington Irving and he has many lovers ± prostitutes, but he really loves Nurse Duckett, he badly stands death of Snowden and as a protest he is naked ± without clothes for a long time, when Orr is lost, he wants to be alone. Orr has escaped to Sweden and Yossarian, at the end of novel, escapes there, too and he saves his life.

MILO: A fantastically powerful mess officer, Milo controls an international black-market syndicate, he owns dining room. blackroom. He takes his job as mess officer very, very seriously; as a result, the troops in Yossarian¶s division eat better than any others. Milo bombs his own squadron for money. He still lies and it seems that he helps to whole world, people in other countries love him, but they don't know, that he has profit from their own poverty. DOCTOR DANEEKA: very young doctor, he is afraid of war and he protests, because he wants to be at home with his family and because he is very young to die, sentimental, self ± confident person, as a doctor mentions, that person has not chance to choose his kind of life, but you should value it. He has live dreams with his wife ± sex, and he has still worry about lifes of his family. During one flight he was written on the list of aircrew and fly dropped and they wrote letter to his wife that he died, she trusted and left the house. Doctor also wrote letter to her, but there was no chance to contact her, because he was officially dead. ± loss of identity

NATELY: One of Yossarian's co-pilots. He falls in love with a cowhore he meets in Rome while staying at a specially rented apartment. Unfortunately, Colonel Cathcart threatens to send Nately home without the whore unless he continues to fly more missions. Nately is killed just after he tells Yossarian that he will probably manage to survive after flying so many missions. He is killed during Milo's bombing of their squadron. And his whore is going to kill Yossarian. ORR: Yossarian's roommate. His strange habits include putting apples and horse chestnuts into his cheeks, installing new luxuries such as running water into his tent, and crashcrashlanding every mission. Yossarian dismisses him as crazy, but one day Orr disappears after another typical crash landing. At the end of the book, Yossarian realizes that he had tricked everyone into thinking that he was crazy so he could escape without being caught. He escaped to Sweden. THE CHAPLAIN: Anabaptist, very sick man, sensitive, Yossarian's second good friend, he begins to lose his faith in God as the novel progresses, he has de ja vú many times.

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