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Catch-22 Summary
Joseph Heller

Everything you need to understand or teach Catch-22 by Joseph Heller.

  • Catch-22 Summary & Study Guide
  • 10 Student Essay
  • 1 Encyclopedia Article
  • 8 Literature Criticism
  • 1 Book Note
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  • 30 Catch-22 Lessons
  • 20 Activities
  • 180 Multiple Choice Questions
  • 60 Short Essay Questions
  • 20 Essay Questions
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Catch-22 Summary


Set toward the end of World War II in 1944, on an island off the coast of Italy, Joseph Heller's Catch 22 is a satirical antiwar novel. It features black humor, an unusual narrative structure, surrealism (a genre which features strange imagery and events), and a not-so-heroic protagonist who struggles to deal with the insanity of war and concludes that the only sane response to it is not to participate in it. Heller began writing Catch-22 in 1953, and a chapter from the still-in-progress novel was published in an anthology in 1955. The completed novel was published in 1961.

American army pilot John Yossarian is an antihero, that is, a protagonist lacking some traditionally heroic qualities. He is obsessed with being rotated out of active flight duty His commander, Colonel Cathcart, keeps raising the number of missions the men in the squadron must fly before they can be rotated out. Consequently, Yossarian is desperate...

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Study Pack

The Catch-22 Study Pack contains about 341 pages of study material in 26 products, including:

Catch-22 Study Guide

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All teaching products sold separately.

Catch-22 Lesson Plans contain 20 pages of teaching material, including:

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