Catch-22
Catch-22
by Joseph Heller

Catch-22 Analysis

Literary Devices in Catch-22

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Milo's enterprising skills and ability to speak persuasively allow him to make deals with almost anyone. He has a talent for keeping track of numerous orders and shipments in many different countri...

Setting

Heller mentions in the epigraph that Pianosa is too small to accommodate all the action of Catch-22, but us readers realize that Heller could've picked to set the story on an island as big or small...

Narrator Point of View

Most of the book is focused on Yossarian. We know what he knows, which is a lot. There are some exceptions because Yossarian seems to have access to some of the other characters' knowledge –...

Genre

Catch-22 makes fun of American bureaucracy – its incompetence, its red tape, and its corruption. It also pokes fun at the brutality of war, but does so in a way that is at once hilarious and...

Tone

That Catch-22 is a parody is quite clear. Heller expresses it by using many paradoxical statements and exaggerating the absurd qualities of all his characters. Although the tone is at times light-h...

Writing Style

Heller tends to repeat things a lot – words, catchphrases, references to events, and important scenes. Through each new repetition, we learn something deeper about the situation – its c...

What's Up With the Title?

The book follows a form of logic called "Catch-22." It's a paradoxical law that means you're circumstantially screwed – no matter what choice you make. Since the publication of the novel, the...

What's Up With the Epigraph?

This island of Pianosa lies in the Mediterranean Sea eight miles south of Elba. It is very small and obviously could not accommodate all of the actions described. Like the setting of this novel, th...

Tough-o-Meter

Reading Catch-22 might give you the impression that Joseph Heller wrote a regular book, cut it into chapters, then threw the whole thing up in the air and glued it back together however he found it...

Plot Analysis

In Chapter Thirteen, we find out that Yossarian began his career running headlong into battle; he was so serious about his missions that he actually got some of his squadron killed as a result.The...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Rebirth

We initially thought that Catch-22 didn't any of the "basic plots" Stephen Booker establishes. It still seems true – it's an episodic, fragmentary, often disordered tale, with chapters on cha...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Oddly enough, given how anti-chronological Catch-22 is, Act I really does take place at the beginning of the book. We may not find out the "Initial Situation" of the novel until somewhere near the...

Trivia

Catch-22 was influenced largely by Heller's own experiences as a bombardier in WWII. (Source)Catch-22 went through several title changes before Heller decided on the number 22. It was originally "C...

Steaminess Rating

What with all the prostitutes in Rome, the affairs, and the groping of the nurse, we feel an "R" rating is deserved. Not only do we know that sex is taking place, but Yossarian often describes in d...

Allusions

Washington Irving (Introduced on 1.12, repeated repeatedly after that).Edgar Rice Burroughs: Tarzan of the Apes (2.48)William Shakespeare(2.48): Hamlet – Fortinbras (29.38)Homer (2.48): The O...

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