Study Guide

Catch-22 Overview

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Catch-22 is a product of intense private and public concerns. Heller based the novel's plot on his memories of World War II bombing missions; he derived its ironic tone and thematic substance from such sources as his father's early death, the grotesque Coney Island neighborhood of his youth, the fastpaced, disjointed world of advertising, and his anxiety over the Korean War and Cold War tensions with China and Russia. Heller translated the intergroup antagonism that prevailed in the United States after the Second World War—the Communist witch hunts led by Senator Joseph McCarthy and the racial hatred that surfaced when southern schools began to be integrated—into the conflict between the common soldiers and the officers of Catch-22.

There was only one catch, and that was Catch-22...

In Heller's novel, the military's Catch22 states that if a man is crazy, he must be grounded—but...

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This section contains 280 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Catch-22 Study Guide
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Catch-22 from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.