They all have positions or attributes or characteristics
that should benefit them,
but instead, these are the exact characteristics that
crush them or at least make them struggle.
Can you give us a few examples?
How and why do these good things turn so sour
for the poor cast of the novel?
One of the first examples comes right at the beginning of the novel.
There's this character, he's a Texan man from Texas,
and he's described as good-natured and lovable.
And then Heller says, "In three days, no one could stand him."
So that kind of sets the tone
of the nicest, best person here
is just gonna get treated like crap and no one likes him.
So that sets the tone for us.
But then we get more essential characters
having the same issue where
something that should be good for them --
For example, Major Major
is a Major and he keeps getting promoted.
And he really doesn't want to be promoted.
He doesn't want power,
but he keeps getting promoted.
So this power ends up being
bad for him.
Sometimes he's promoted because people wanna get rid of him,
sometimes it's like hilarious errors made by machines.
[ mechanical voice ] You've been promoted.
But his status as Major Major Major Major in the end,
really isolates him,
and all he wants to do is be one of the men
in the Air Force.
But his status really isolates him.
And the purpose of all this is
that we see, again,
coming back to the title, the catch-22, we see
the paradoxical nature and the
just complete lack of logic, the total nonsense of war.
What should be good is bad,
what should be bad is good.
What should be sane is insane,
what should be insane is sane.
And this is a thread that just runs throughout the entire book.
And this is one way of looking at it.
Got it. Okay. Makes sense.
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How does Heller use paradoxes in Catch-22
to provide a political point?
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