© 2015 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

CHECK OUT SHMOOP'S FREE STUDY TOOLS: Essay Lab | Math Shack | Videos




by Joseph Heller

 Table of Contents

Catch-22 Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Milo Minderbinder as a symbol of capitalism and greed

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...

The soldier in white as a symbol of the inhumanity with which the bureaucracy treats its men

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,...

Major Major as a symbol of loneliness and alienation

Through no fault of his own, Major Major is constantly harassed and avoided for his strange name, virtue, and unnerving sincerity. Though he tries hard to fit in and make friends, Major Major is sh...

The hospital as a symbol of shelter and safety

Yossarian and the other men use the hospital as an excuse to avoid combat duty. Yossarian comments that the hospital has learned to tame death so that men can die with dignity. However, the hospita...

Chocolate-covered cotton as a symbol of artifice and worthlessness

The fact that Milo covers his excess cotton with chocolate and tries to feed it to the men reveals his greed and need to get rid of financial liabilities. The chocolate here is utterly worthless, f...

Snowden's guts as a symbol of man's mortality

Yossarian refers to Snowden's guts as his "secret." They are hidden inside his flak suit, though pierced by flak, until Yossarian rips open the suit and out they come. Yossarian "reads" Snowden's s...

The increasing number of missions as a symbol of injustice and absurdity

The best thing about the required missions is how they function in the "time" of Catch-22. The number of required missions tells us where we are in time. We know if there are sixty required mission...

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Noodle's College Search
Noodle's College Search