Study Guide

Catch-22 Social Concerns

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Heller's first novel was inspired by American political, military, and social events of the 1950s. In an interview with Ken Barnard, Heller asserted, "What Catch-22 is more about than World War II is the Korean War and the Cold War." The author's anxiety over the war in Korea and threats of war against China and Russia influenced the work, as did his disturbance over the Communist witch-hunts led by Senator Joseph McCarthy and the racial hatred that surfaced when Southern schools began to be integrated. The antagonism between groups that prevailed in the United States after the Second World War Heller translated into the enmity between the common soldiers and the officers of Catch-22.

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This section contains 114 words
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Catch-22 from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.