Study Guide

Catch-22 Hypocrisy

By Joseph Heller

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The logic known as Catch-22 is basically just endlessly creative rationalization. It can take contradictory statements and reconcile them better than any politician, and it can make completely irrational statements sound more logical than Ann Coulter ever could. By taking a statement and inverting it, Catch-22 always defeats those who try to reason through it. It uses circular reasoning and, through this, becomes the most annoyingly hypocritical "catch" we've ever heard of. Oh yeah, and it dooms everyone involved.

Questions About Hypocrisy

  1. How widespread are the phenomena of hypocrisy and contradiction? Are they accepted as normal?
  2. How are contradictory statements often reconciled in Catch-22?
  3. How does Catch-22 trap men in its circular logic?
  4. What are some possible ways to break out of Catch-22's mad logic? How does Yossarian solve or not solve the problem?

Chew on This

The logic of Catch-22 is self-contradictory and makes no sense, even in the context of the mad modern world.

Even though the logic of Catch-22 seems contradictory and irrational, it makes sense and can be applied logically in the world of the novel.

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