Catch-22 Part 8: Lies

LiteratureCatch-22

Transcript

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Most of the cast of Catch-22 are compulsive liars

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with a few maybe notable exceptions that are important.

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But what kind of lies are they telling

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and why? What does that say about the book?

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Sure, so there's a few kinds of lies in the book.

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There's the innocent type of lie.

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For instance, Major Major finds out that

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his name isn't actually Caleb Major,

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and he loses friends over the fact that he was

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lying about his name, but he didn't even know his real name.

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So we kind of see these innocent lies creeping in.

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Then there are the lies that are for the benefit of the individual.

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Going back to Milo,

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this is Milo who kind of lies and steals

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in order to make a profit for himself.

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For the individual and that, again,

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brings us back to the critique of capitalism.

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And then

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the kind of -- I think the crux of it are the lies that are for survival.

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And Yossarian, who's our main character throughout,

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is the epitome of this.

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He lies like a crazy person -

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again, crazy or maybe totally sane -

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in order to survive.

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He fakes a liver condition.

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He says the thing about how he sees everything twice.

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He comes up with these absurd stories

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in order to survive.

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Because he knows that if he goes out there to fly a mission,

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there is a really good chance he's never coming back.

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So those kinds of lies are the ones that really get us thinking the most

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because we say, "Is lying bad?

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Is he being crazy and immoral to lie about this

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or is he actually being sane and everyone else around him

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is being crazy?" It's kind of like

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the Curb Your Enthusiasm, the Larry David syndrome,

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where Larry David is the only sane one

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but everyone thinks he's insane.

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And the same thing's happening with Yossarian.

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Okay, cool.

01:47

What sort of lies are in Catch-22?

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Why did Yossarian lie all the time?

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