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Study Guide

Catch-22 Essay | Critical Essay #1

This Study Guide consists of approximately 127 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Catch-22.
This section contains 1,536 words
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Critical Essay #1

Felty is a visiting instructor at the College of Charleston. In the following essay, he discusses how Catch-22 explores larger issues of social order and individual responsibility within the context of a war novel.

As most critics recognize, Catch-22 offers more than a critique of World War II, despite its focus on the destructiveness of warfare. Instead, Joseph Heller employs this setting to comment upon the condition of mid-century American life. His satire targets not just the military but all regimental institutions that treat individuals as cogs in a machine. His central character, Yossarian, recognizes the insanity of social institutions that devalue human life and tries to rebel against them, first in minor ways and finally through outright rejection of them. Yet Yossarian is not, as some have contended, an immoral or non-idealistic man. He is a man who responds to human suffering, unlike characters such as Colonel...

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This section contains 1,536 words
(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Catch-22 Study Guide
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Catch-22 from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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