by Joseph Heller
The soldier in white as a symbol of the inhumanity with which the bureaucracy treats its men
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
The soldier in white serves as a symbol of the inhumanity with which the bureaucracy treats its men. This soldier is nameless and faceless; the bureaucracy views its men not as unique individuals, but as anonymous dispensable liabilities. Nobody knows whether or not the soldier in white is alive or dead. This might indicate that the bureaucracy doesn't care who lives or dies and throws around human lives. Dunbar even suggests that the bandages are just a cover-up and that there is nobody inside. Perhaps the bureaucracy has taken from the men their very humanity.