The Atrocity Of War
The Atrocity of War More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginning of all wars - yes, an end to this brutal, inhuman and thoroughly impractical method of settling the differences between governments (Franklin D. Roosevelt). In some people’s minds, war is glorified. The romanticized perspective that society bases war on is reversed in the
book Catch-22. The Vietnam War established the book as an anti-war classic because of the war’s paradoxical nature. Heller perceives war as a no win situation. The book elaborates on the sane and the insane ways of the nation. The question is who is to determine the insane? It all comes back to the paradox that 'Catch-22' delivers. The trauma this book illustrates threatens the government’s ideal of peace. There was a time when Heller’s classic satire on the murderous insanity of war was nothing less than a rite of passage.
Throughout the book it reveals a portrait of war that is the reality. The sarcasm and structure of this novel is Heller’s way to show the actuality of war’s dispair. The
author exemplifies war as trivial; his characters are not fighting the enemy, but they are fighting within themselves. The world has known war ever since the beginning of time, but time has to change if the nation is going to prosper in a positive direction. In Catch-22 most of the sane characters put all of their time and energy into getting home. Yossarian, the main character in the book, was the most determined to stay alive. “The enemy,” retorted Yossarian, “is anybody who’s going to get you killed, no matter which side he’s on” (120). All around him he felt people were trying to kill him. His main fear was everyone, including his troops, were shooting at him. Yossarian informs, “They’re trying to kill me” (11). Everywhere he turned he thought people were after him. Even in the dining hall, he sensed the cooks wanted to poison him. With the trauma he went through nobody can blame him for being paranoid. Anything he could do to get out of missions he tried. The goal that he set was to go home alive, and he would do anything to achieve it. Never did he think twice about what duty he had to accomplish for his government. The whole objective in war is for innocent people to die. Not only did Yossarian fight to go home, but also he fought with the guilt he had to encounter for his lack of bravery. Nothing that he faced could stop him from leaving the war. Not only did he have to battle the constant fear of death, he also had to fight the inner trauma that was killing him inside. Another character in the story who struggles against his own internal conflicts with reality is Doc Daneeka. His character represents many of the soldiers who go to war. All Daneeka was worried about was his own welfare. His patients would approach him in much more of a terrible condition than he was, but he would only be concerned about himself. Not only did he hate participating in the war, but also hated flying in airplanes. Doc stated in his own words, “I don’t have to go looking for trouble in an airplane” (28). He felt that troubles come after him so there is no reason to take any actions that might get him involved in more trouble. Instead of taking the initiative to help the injured he opted to save his own life. The last thing he was worried about was his American pride. Nothing was more important to him than getting out of the war predicament.
The status of his men were not of a significance to him. Doc was interested in the economic, social, and political conditions of his own benefit. Just as many soldiers do in war, Daneeka didn’t understand why this was happening to him. He pointed out, “You think you have something to be afraid about” (171)? The Doc lost everything he had and all of the potential because of the war. He left at the end of the novel as a dead man that is really alive, which just is an example of a catch-22. War was not an option to him; it was something he had to do. The magnified viewpoint that the government perceives war as is altered as soon as a solider steps on the battlefield. Doc never had the outlook of a brave man. His soul was concealed in cowardliness. It all comes down to the same concept of war; people stop fighting for their country, and they start fighting for their lives. The question of ‘is he crazy’ is asked throughout the book. The answer is sometimes hidden deep inside a person. It is often unrecognizable. A misinterpreted character in the book is Orr. He is Yossarian’s “playful” roommate. He comes across as being a little crazy. He faced the terror of being in war along with all of the others. Though Orr was different; he reacted to his fear. Out of all of the characters he was the smartest. All of the shock he experienced drove him away from the war. His plan to leave the base worked! When he disappeared he was determined as dead, when actually he was hiding. His timid outlook of war came out in his actions, but that shows his heartache of the experiences he encounters in the war. His character was misunderstood from the very beginning. It all started with his “apple cheeks”. Orr told Yossarian a story about his apple cheeks; “When I was a kid I used to walk around with crab apples in my cheeks. One in each cheek,” (16). The intelligence that Orr had, actually had saved his life. He never intended to save his country, but only to go home alive. What is the purpose of war if virtuous men with no intentions in helping the country are only fighting for their own lives? Orr is another example of someone trying to live for the joy of life. In his eyes life comes first then his country comes second. The book Catch-22 uses many tactics to make a mockery of war, and it shows the men fighting are not fighting for their county, but only for their lives. Heeler is trying to get a strong point across. Life is much more important than a fight between governments.
No matter how it is looked at, war is murder. The term ‘catch 22’ pictures war perfectly. In war winning is not an option. Even if the country pulls out a victory thousands of people are then dead. Not to forget the thousands of broken hearts around the world because their loved ones are dead. The only thing benefiting from war is the government, and a lot of times it does not always come out on top. Catch-22 catches war in the eyes of the men fighting, and it does not disguise the true terror that it brings. The characters in the story who were the most sane were the ones who fought for their lives, and not for their country. “War does not decide who is right, only who is left,” (Lao Tse).
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The Effects of Catch 22 In literature sometimes a character can be helped or hindered by the economic, social, or political conditions of the day. In the novel Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, the character Doc Daneeka illustrates this idea perfectly because the conditions surrounding him greatly hindered him. Catch 22 takes place during WWII on an island named Pianosa English – About Elephants Somewhere in eastern Canada, there is a place where elephants live. Elephants seem to enjoy the place where they live, they even seem to enjoy the cold weather. During winter, elephant wants to go in the freezing, icy water; the male breaks the ice to swim in the water. The elephants seem to have a Catch 22 Great pieces of literature are influenced by their author’s life and the times in which they were written. These two factors combine to make literature that is both entertaining and meaningful to readers. Joseph Heller’s outrageously funny and very affecting novel Catch-22 is a perfect example. Heller draws on his past and alludes to events Slaughterhouse 5 Sample essay topic, essay writing: Slaughterhouse 5 - 1318 words
In the books, Slaughter House 5 by Kurt Vonnegut and Catch 22 by Joseph Heller thereare many themes that at first don't appear to be related but once given a closer look havestriking similarities. Both books are about one mans experience through World War II, one Catch 22 again In Catch-22, Joseph Heller reveals the perversions of the human character and society. Using various themes and a unique style and structure, Heller satirizes war and its values as well as using the war setting to satirize society at large. By manipulating the «classic» war setting and language of the novel Heller is able to
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