* Site-Outage Notice: Our engineering elves will be tweaking the Shmoop site from Monday, December 22 10:00 PM PST to Tuesday, December 23 5:00 AM PST. The site will be unavailable during this time.
Dismiss
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Catch-22

Catch-22

by Joseph Heller

Hypocrisy Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Catch-22 required that each censored letter bear the censoring officer's name. (1.12)

Catch-22 itself is mad because it defeats its own purpose. Here, the government wants to censor – or cut any questionable content out of – letters. By signing his name, an officer allows the censorship to be traced back to him, and ultimately for the censored content to be revealed.

Quote #2

The Texan turned out to be good-natured, generous, and likable. In three days no one could stand him. (1.17)

"Good-natured, generous, and likable" means that people like you. This quote reveals the irrationality of the men; they don't like the Texan, despite his likeable qualities.

Quote #3

[…] there were many officers' clubs that Yossarian had not helped build, but he was proudest of the one on Pianosa. It was a sturdy and complex monument to his powers of determination. Yossarian never went there to help until it was finished; then he went there often, so pleased was he with the large, fine, rambling shingled building. It was a truly splendid structure, and Yossarian throbbed with a might sense of accomplishment each time he gazed at it and reflected that none of the work that had gone into it was his. (2.23)

This is absurd simply because one should not be proud of something one didn't do in the first place. But this logic does make sense in one light; Yossarian is proud precisely because he did not build the club, proud of his own ability to avoid work. Yossarian's cleverness and aptitude for such deception is later admired by Milo.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement
Noodle's College Search
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement