Satire in Catch-22

Our Working Definition of Satire:

Satire is the literary work in which society is mocked as a whole or in an individual stance. Sarcasm, exaggeration and humor are techniques that are typically used to convery this work.

A work of literature that pokes fun at society as a whole, or individual issues humans struggle with. Irony, exaggeration, humor and sarcasm are techniques typically used to convey scorn, ridicule and derision. Can be darn near impossible to determine (does anyone else remember the Flamingo prompt last year?)
I did really bad on that Flamingo prompt. Satire makes fun of situations in society and often times politics. This is created by looking at things in a very one-sided way, though a specific, exaggerated lense
Though satire can be difficult to diagnose, as with the aforementioned "Flamingo prompt", readers should look for clues such as absurdity, sarcasm, or extreme irony or paradox. Anything that seems incongruous or off may be due to the satirical nature of a piece.

Satire is the literary work that pokes fun at human short comings, or where the author mocks social conventions, other works of art, or anything else they find ridiculous in the world or with the perspective people have for certain goals or ideas. This is through the use of irony and wit ( maybe just hoping someone out there gets their jokes at society and any other ridiculous thing they find). - think any late night talk show..."The Daily Show") -Nicole Sugai
works by Mark Twain (Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer, etc)
Satire: A literary technique using folly, irony, and sarcasm to ridicule something.
-The Onion uses satire to make fun of current events and human mistakes.

A literary work in which a human, vice, folly, stupidity, or shortcoming is exposed through the use of irony, wit, sarcasm, derision, etc.
A literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision, or
Satire uses bizarre and absurd situations to make a serious point about a topic that is
typically controversial in nature
Although it's often funny, the purpose of satire is not usually the humor itself but rather an attack by the satirist with an end goal of improvement of the thing being satirized.
Often strictly defined as a literary genre or form; although in practice it is also found in the graphic and performing arts.
"Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's face but their own" -Johnathon Swift, who made a modest proposal to sell babies for food as a means of solving Irish economic woes in the 1700's A work that blends criticism of a subject with humor. Satire digs deeper than just simple comedy though, as it serves a deeper underlying purpose and speaks about the subject in question. Animal Farm is clearly one of the best examples, and most of us have read this book in 10th grade.
Satire is the use of humor or wit to ridicule or poke fun at something.
Often used with the intent of correcting, or changing a situation or whatever the subject of the satire was.

Satire is something meant to make fun of and show the weaknesses of human nature or a particular person.
Satire is a social, political, or moral commentary invected through humor, as if one is mimicking on a greater scale to draw attention to the hypocrity of similar, accepted instances.
General forms of Satire:

Named after the Roman poet, Horace. Light and humorous; witty; contrast to Juvenalian Satire;tone is more jocular/ sympathetic than Juvenalian; uses wit, humour, and exaggeration towards that which is identified as "folly" rather than evil;tends to ridicule human foolishness in general rather than attack specific persons; sympathetic tone is common is modern society
Horatian satire's sympathetic tone is common in modern society, example- The Onion.

Examples include The Simpsons, The Onion, SNL, Gulliver's Travels, Animal Farm
We're not that far into Catch-22, but I think that it definitely fits into this category

Juvenalian- Sharper and more serious; darker, less focus on humor aspect; contrast to Horatian Satire; A more negative, scornful view of satire that is known for using irony, sarcasm, moral indignation and personal invective instead of comical aspects. bitter and ironic criticism; promotes a darker form of laughter.
Examples include Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal, George Orwell's 1984 and Animal Farm, South Park, Lord of the Flies, Dr. Strangelove and A Clockwork Orange. Brave New World
Elements of Satire in Catch-22
Satirical Element
from text

from text

from text

from text

from text

Example from text

"Nurse Duckett shrieked and jumped into the air a mile, but it wasn't high enough, and she squirmed and vaulted and see-sawed back and forth on her divine fulcrum for almost a full fifteen seconds before she wiggled free finally and retreated frantically into the aisle with an ashen, trembling face"(293).

A primary example of irony is found in Milo, he is idolized and praised for bombing his own company when people learn that he made a lot of money. This conjures amusement, and then leaves the audience amazed with horror. Exaggeration makes this funny event.

The colonel punished him sadistically with a long, glowering, malignant, hateful, silent stare. "We were speaking baout something else," he reminded the chaplain cuttingly at last. "We were not speaking about the firm, ripe, breasts of young girls, but of something else entirely." p201
"He was home free: he had pulled it off; his act of rebellion had succeeded... a private in green fatigues saluted him. He looked strangely familiar... the private in green fatigues turned suddenly into Nately's whore and lunged at him murderously with a bone-handled kitchen knife." pg 439
"He was...immense. I'm a real, slam-bang, honest-to-goodness, three-fisted humdinger. I'm a bona fide supraman" (29)

"Oh, pretty good," he answered. "I've got
a slight pain in my liver and I haven't been
the most regular of fellows, I guess, but all
in all I must admit that I feel pretty good."

"I wouldn't want either one to get the idea I was throwing my support on the side of the other"
-Colonel Cathcart p203

"Clevenger was dead. That was the basic flaw in his pholosophy." p115
"This sordid, vulturous, diabolical old man reminded Nately of his father because they were nothing at all alike. Nately's father was a courtly white-haired gentleman who dressed impeccably; this old man was an uncouth bum." pg 254
"Dear Mrs., Mr., Miss, or Mr. and Mrs. Daneeka: Words cannot express the deep personal grief I experienced when your husband, son, father, or brother was killed, wounded, or reported missing in action." (pg. 355)

Absurd Situation
"Something was on fire! Yossarian whirled to escape and smacked into Aarfy, who had struck a match and was placidly lightning his pipe. Yossarian gaped at his grinning, moon-faced navigator in utter shock and confusion. It occurred to him that one of them was mad." (158) (nicole)
"Lieutenant Scheisskopf turned white as a sheet when Major Major reported to him in California with bare feet and mud-caked toes." ...
" 'I don't think you have to call me 'sir,' sir," Lieutenant Scheisskopf pointed out. 'You outrank me.'

'Yes, sir. I may outrank you, sir, but you're still my commanding officer.'

'Yes, sir, that's right," Lieutenant Scheisskopf agreed. 'You may outrank me, sir, but I'm still your commanding officer. So you better do whatI tell you, sir, or you'll get into trouble.'" (97)

"Havermeyer," he asked hesitantly. "Have I got flies in my eyes?"
Havermeyer blinked quizzically. "Sties?" he asked.
"No, flies," he was told.
blinked again. "Flies?"
"In my eyes."
"You must be crazy," Havermeyer said.
"No, I'm not crazy. Yossarian's crazy. Just tell me if I've got flies in my eyes or not. Go ahead. I can take it."
Havermeyer popped another piece of peanut brittle into his mouth and peered very closely into Appleby's eyes.
"I don't see any," he announced.
Appleby heaved an immense sigh of relief. Havermeyer had tiny bits of peanut brittle adhering to his lips, chin and cheeks.
"You've got peanut brittle crumbs on your face," Appleby remarked to him.
"I'd rather have peanut brittle crumbs on my face than flies in my eyes," Havermeyer retorted. (56) (grace)

"They're confusing cause and effect. It makes as much sense and knocking on wood or crossing your fingers. They really believe that we wouldn't have to fly tomorrow if someone would only tiptoe up to the map in the middle of the night and move the bomb line over Bologna...Yossarian knocked on wood, corssed his fingers and tiptoed out of the tent to move the bomb line over Bologna." p.129

" ...I'm the people I buy them from," Milo explained. "I make a profit of three and a quarter cents apiece when I buy them back from me. That's a total profit of six cents an egg... that's how I can make a profit buying eggs for seven cents an egg." page 240
"'I did it to protect my good reputation in case anyone ever caught me walking around with crab apples in my cheeks. Every time someone asked me why I was walking around with crab apples in my cheeks, I'd just open my hands and show them it was rubber balls I was walking around with, not crab apples, and that they were in my hands, not my cheeks. It was a good story. But I never knew if it got across or not, since it's pretty tough to make people understand you when you're talking to them with two crab apples in your cheeks'"(24). -Orr
Colonel Cathcarts confidence that General Peckem would approve of his cigarette holder and then his fear that General Peckem wouldn't approve and that such a small thing would hurt his chances to become a general p198
Comic Allusions
Major Major had three strikes on him from the beginning—his mother, his father and Henry Fonda, to whom he bore a sickly resemblance almost from the moment of his birth.
Names of characters: Colonel Korn (as opposed to a Colonel of Korn...), General Dreedle (which sounds like Dreidle), Major Major, etc.
The name of the most dangerous mission that squadron fears is called 'Bologna'


"You'll be just a good as anybody else in heaven, even though you are Italian." (page 196)
"The maid in the lime-colored panties was a cheerful, fat, obliging woman in her mid-thirties with squashy thighs and swaying hams in lime-colored panties that she was always rolling off for any man who wanted her. She had a plain broad face and was the most virtuous woman alive: she laid for everybody, regardless of race, creed, color or place of national origin-"
"The colonel [Cathcart] wore his khaki shirt collar iwde open, exposing a shadow of tough black bristles of beard on his egg-white neck, and has a spongy hanging underlip. He was a person who never tanned, and he kept out of the sun as much as possible to avoid burning. The colonel was more than a head taller than the caplain and over twice as broad..." (pg. 199)
"Chief White Halfoat was a handsome, swarthy Indian from Oklahoma with a heavy, hard-boned face and tousled blackhiar, a half-blooded Creek from Enid who, for occult reasons of his own, had made up his mind to die of pneumonia. He was a glowering, vengeful, disillusioned Indian who hated foreigners with names like Cathcart, Korn, Black, and Havermeyer and wished they'd all go back to where their lousy ancestors had come from (52)."
"Yossarian--the very sight of the name made him shudder. There were so many esses in it. It just had to be subversive. It was like the word subversive itself... It was an odious, distasteful name, a name that just did not inspire confidence. It was not at all like cush clean, crisp, honest, American names as Cathcart, Peckem and Dreedle (220)."

"Actually, he was a very warm, compassionate man who never stopped feeling sorry for himself." (43)
The Texan turned out to be good-natured, generous and likeable. In three days no one could stand him. (9)

"I'm talking about cooperating. Favors. You do a favor for me, I'll do one for you. Get it?"
"Do one for me," Yossarian requested.
"Not a chance," Doc Daneeka answered. (32)

"Dear Mrs., Mr., Miss, or Mr. and Mrs. Daneeka: Words cannot express the deep personal grief I experienced when your husband, son, father, or brother was killed, wounded, or reported missing in action." (344)

Appleby was as good at shooting crap as he was at playing Ping-Pong, and he was as good at playing Ping-Pong as he was at everything else. Everything Appleby did, he did well. Appleby was a fair-haired boy from Iowa who believed in God, Motherhood, and the American Way of Life, without ever thinking about any of them, and everybody who knew him liked him.
"I hate that son of a bitch," Yossarian growled. (25)


"'When you tell Nately I'm all right...' said Yossarian to McWatt, and lost consciousness again as everything went fuzzy behind a film of strawberry-stained gelatin"(290).
"The night was filled with horrors, and he thought he [Yossarian] knew how Christ must have felt as he walked through the world, like a psychiatrist through a ward full of nuts, like a victim through a prison full of theives. What a welcome scene a leper must have been!" page 425
"They couldn't touch him because he was Tarzan, Mandrake, Flash Gordon. He was Bill Shakespeare. Hw was Cain, Ulysses, the flying Dutchman; he was Lot in Sodom, Deirdre of the Sorrows, Sweeney in the nightengales among the trees. He was miracle ingredient Z-247. (29)

Reductio ad

" You're American officers. The officers of no other army in the world can make that statement. Think about it." (36) ???? (someone correct me if this is not Reduction ad Absurdum I'm a little shaky on the def)
"He was polite to his elders, who disliked him. Whatever his elders told him to do, he did." ... "He never once took the name of the Lord his God in vain, committed adultery or coveted his neighbor's ass. In fact, he loved his neighbor and never even bore false witness against him. Major Major's elders disliked him because he was such a flagrant nonconformist." (95) ...

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane, he had to fly them. If he flew them, he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to, he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.
"That's some catch, that Catch-22," he observed.
"It's the best there is," Doc Daneeka agreed.

"Turn on the light Dunbar suggested...Dr. stubbs says There is no light. I don't feel like starting my generator. I used to get a big kick out of saving people's lives. Now I wonder what the hell's the point, since they all have to die anyway...The point is to keep them from dying for as long as you can...Yeah, but what's the point since they all have to die anyway?...The trick is not to think about it...Never mind the trick, what the hell's the point?..Who the hell knows" p.119-120
"Colonol Cathcart went away from General Dreedle with a gulp and kicked the chaplain out of the officers' club, and it was exactly the way it almost was two months later after the chaplain had tried to persuade Colonel Cathcart to rescind his order increasing the number of missions to sixty and had failed abysmally in that endeavor too, and the chaplain was ready now to capitulate to despair entirely but was restrained by the memory of his wife, whom he loved and missed so pathetically with such sensual and exalted ardor, and by the lifelong trust he had placed in the wisdom and justice of an immortal, omnipotent, omniscient, humance, universal, anthropomorphic, Englis-speaking, Anglo-Saxon, pro-American God, which had begun to waver"(285).

"Doc Daneeka was Yossarian's friend and would do just about nothng in his power to help him." (37)

"It's not my business to save lives," Doc Daneeka retorted sullenly. (184)
"[Major Major] grew moody and depressed. At times he thought seriously of going with all his sorrows to see the chaplain, but the chaplain seemed so overburdened with miseries of his own that Major Major shrank from adding to his troubles." (101)

Clevinger to Yossarian "Can you imagine? You and I must be the only rational ones left." just before Yossarian moves the bomb line up p.129
"Lets operate," said the other doctor. Let's cut him open and get to the inside of things once and for all. He keeps complaining about his liver. His liver looks pretty small on this X-ray." "That's his pancreas, you dope. This is his liver." "No it isn't. That's his heart. I'll bet you a nickel this is his liver. I'm going to operate and find out. Should i wash my hands first?" (pg. 442)
​ "Racial prejudice is a terrible thing, Yossarian. It realy is. It's a terrible thing to treat a decent, loyal Indian like a nigger, kike, wop, or spic."
(Chief White Halfoat, 53)

"She was irresistible and men edged away from her carefully." (pg 226) There's irony on almost every page of Catch-22
"'Anything worth living for,' said Nately, 'is worth dying for.'
'And anything worth dying for,' answered the sacreligious old man, 'is certainly worth living for'"(247).

"What could you do? Major Major asked himself again. What could you do with a man who looked you squarely in the eye and said he would rather die than be killed in combat, a man who was at least as mature and intelligent as you were and who you had to pretend was not?" (113)

Character use for satirical tone in Catch-22

Character's Background
Character's Roles
Character's Motivations or Goals
Character's Actions
Character's Conflicts or Challenges
Excerpt That Best Represents Character
Character's Fate

-A squadron bombardier who represents the individual.

-Has negative views of the war.

-Anti-patriot (one of many it would seem)
-Being sanely insane or insanely sane
"[Yossarian's] not so crazy...he swears he's not going to fly to Bologna...That's just what I mean...That crazy bastard may be the only sane one left" p.120

-Prevent his death since his main concern is being killed.

-" be immortal or die trying."
-Attempts by any means necessary to get out of duty: liver condition, fear, self-serving view of danger
-Danger in combat: everyone seems to be trying to kill or poison him
-Inability to go home
-Being in a [insert book title]

"I don't want to wear a uniform anymore." This may be a sign th he is ready to give up
"Let somebody else get killed [says Yossarian]...But suppose everybody on our side felt that way [says Major Major]...Then I'd certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way." p.113
He is going to try and save Nately's girlslittle sister and escape to Sweden where Orr is supposed to be.

- dies of major chest wounds in Yossarin's plane

Yossarin feels he is to blame for Snowden's Death

Yossarin is always talking about Snowden's 'secret'

member of Yossarian's flight during a mission, and acts as important reason for the fundamental change in Yossarian's mentality and outlook.
(This is supposed to go in the "Purpose" column but it's not working on my computer)
-Exposure and change in Yossarian
"He felt goose pimples clacking all over him as he gazed down despondently at the grim secret Snowden had spilled all over the messy floor. It was easy to read the message in his entrails. Man was matter, that was Snowden's secret. Drop him out a window and he'll fall. Set fire to him and he'll burn. Bury him and he'll rot, like other kinds of garbage. The spirit gone, man is garbage. That was Snowden's secret. Ripeness was all...I'm cold Snowden said, I'm cold." p.450

He went on a mission with Yossarian and ended up getting shot in the leg and in the side all the way through to his front. He spills his "secret," his guts, all over the plane. He froze to death on a warm summer day, while Yossarian tried to comfort him.

"Man was matter, that was Snowden's secret. Drop him out a window and he'll fall. Set fire to him and he'll burn. Bury him and he'll rot, like other kinds of garbage. The spirit gone, man is garbage. That was Snowden's secret. Ripeness was all" (pg. 450)
"Killed over Avignon when Dobbs went crazy in mid air and seized the controls away from Huple." (44)
He is the character that causes Yossarian to reaize that war brings death. After Snowden dies Yossarian becomes more concerned with life than duty.
Major Danby
-Educated college professor
-Sees himself as a bad fit for army
-Briefs Pilots about their upcoming missions

-Briefs pilots about
upcoming missions

-Very timid, wants to get out of the war alive
-Never the same after almost being shot by Gen. Dreedle
( )

Moans during General Dreedal's briefing, and is order to be shot.
-dislikes the military
-Tries to do his best, but is too timid to change anything

-ends up helping Yossarian escape and gives him money
-Timid foil to Yossarian's brashness; always shying away from conflict
-The mail clerk at the Twenty-seventh Air Force Headquarters
- keeps going AWOL

- controls communications for the area.
-has power

"My duty is to keep digging these holes...the duty of the men in combat is to win the war, and I just wish they were doing their duty as well as I've been doing mine." p115

​ - A part of Yossarian's squadron
- "gangly, gawky, feverish, famish eyed brain"
- Harvard undergraduate
- had lots of intelligence with no brains

Clevinger's happiness and optimism serves to emphasize the other characters lack of this emotion and highlight on the key differences.
- Adds conflict in the story because he is always going against Yossarian; character foil

-Continually argues with Yossarian
Trial against him. Not saying sir?
Has trouble being somewhat of a realist, he always seems to find the good in everying and has trouble accepting and believing in the bad.

-sort of naive in the ways of the world; doesn't show a lot of street smarts
They're trying to kill me," Yossarian told him calmly.
"No one's trying to kill you," Clevinger cried.
"Then why are they shooting at me?" Yossarian asked.
"They're shooting at everyone," Clevinger answered. "They're trying to kill everyone."


Colonel Korn
-Colonel Cathcart's sidekick

- is a common man but ingenious, and that really angers Colonal Cathcart
- while invaluable to Colonel Cathcart, he is resented by the colonel because he was "educated at a state university" and "it was degrading to have to depend so thoroughly on a person who had been educated at a state university"

Colonel Cathcart

group commander at a U.S. Army air corps base and is enfatuated with becoming a general.

has only flown in 2 missions; one being by mistake.

Eager for attention

for every positive in his character, the narrator provides an opposite character element making him a contradiction
He stops at nothing to impress his superiors

his selfishness and desire to move forward forces his men to make moral decisions, he keeps raising the numbers of missions so that it makes it impossible for Yossarian to get out of the war

becoming a general
he keeps extending the number of missions before the men can go home. He asks the chaplain to lead prayers before the misions but doesn't want God to be mentioned because that would be negative... He strikes a deal with Yossarian such that Yossarian may go home if he talks well of his superiors and not of his men. This shows Cathcarts desire to move forward above all else
Cathcart is constantly fighting himself. He has tons of ideas as to how to ensure his promotion, but overthinks them so much that they become nearly impossible to accomplish or else not very impactful. Once he does finally follow through with an idea, he fears and regrets doing it in case it was a bad idea that will demote him
He also always thinks that everyone is against him, making him very suspicious and nervous and a worse leader
He considers Yossarian to be a threat to his future because he is constantly making the squadran look bad

"Dear Mrs., Mr., Miss, or Mr. and Mrs. Daneeka: Words cannot express the deep personal grief I experienced when your husband, son, father, or brother was killed, wounded, or reported missing in action." p.355
"Colonel Cathcart could measure his own progress only in relationship to others" p.197
"He was a valorous opportunist who pounced hoggishly upon every opportunity Colonel Korn discovered for him and trembled in damp dispair immediately afterward at the possible consequences he might suffer" p198

Cathcart shows Yossarian's morals. Cathcart has no morals of his own and is obsessed with his own selfish career, by forcing Yossarian to go back on his morals as the only way to get out of the war, Cathcart uses Yossarians agenda to accomplish his own agenda. Since Yossarian goes back on his word to save Nately's sister, Cathcart is able to magnify how important this act was. Yossarian could be court martialed for his actions but it is worth it to him.
Milo Minderbinder
- businessman, focused mostly on making a profit
For the purpose of the story, his role is to bring all the great food the military want, where he uses the blackmarket and the local cities he seems to rule over with his profit and greed. He also is the "dictator" of the syndicate and of his produce business. This, on a larger scale is using Milo for the personification of the american Greed and need to rule the world. Also Milo has a very selfness to him that seems to portray the way Americans view thier lives as all about them and their troubles.
-It's all about the Benjamins
-Milo is concerned with making money through his "syndicate"

- wants to start his little syndicate, does, then strives to make a the biggest profit he possibly can

-Forms a side company (syndicate) to allow himself to make huge profits and abuse his position as mess officer
-Flies all over to do business on the black market
-Even gets involved with the Germans to turn a profit and bombs his own base

Gets in over his head when he buys the entire Egyptian cotton crop. Then has to try to get rid of it, hence the chocolate covered cotton in the tree.
This time Milo had gone too far. Bombing his own men and planes was more than even the most phlegmatic observer could stomach, and it looked like the end for him. … Milo was all washed up until he opened his books to the public and disclosed the tremendous profit he had made. p.269

General Dreedle

Doc Daneeka
- Rooms in a splotched gray tent with Chief White Halfoat (whom he fears and despises) (49)
- Has an office in Staten Island (49)
- was going to become a successful physician...and then he got drafted

- is supposed to be the doctor for the squadron, but ultimately fails to fulfill his role as Wes and Gus, his assistants, are left to do his job while he sits around and mopes about how much his life "sucks".
- his own life (and no one else's)
- focuses on staying off of airplanes and getting sick (though he is healthy every time he gets a check-up from Gus and Wes)
- still wants to earn $ for his required flights, so he asks Yossarian to put his name on McWatt's flight log. he doesn't go on the flights, however, and he does not help Yossarian in any way in return.

- Lied about his health to authorities to try to avoid the draft (50)
- First to tell Yossarian about Catch-22 (55)
-'Prescribes' Yossarian with "all the dried fruit and fruit juices he wants" (70)
- is supposed to let those with enough missions go back home but doesn't because of Catch-22

- he wants to be sick/get sick but just can't seem to. darn.
"Doc Daneeka was a very neat, clean man whose idea of a good time was to sulk." (41)
- "dies" with McWatt
- Represents greed and selfishness in the ways that he does not appeal to anyone else's woes and only cares about what happens to himself
- represents corruption in the medical system in that he is interested in money but is not willing to work for it; rather, he employs someone else to help him achieve his goals (namely, Yossarian; also Gus and Wes)

--Clergy member assigned to religious aid of those involved in the war
--Not a particularly brave man; lacks backbone and always regrets it --Full name is Chaplain Albert Taylor Tappman
--Has a wife and three small children back at home whom he misses

--Offers religious aid to those in the hospital
--Yossarian "loves" him
--Yossarian uses the chaplains title/name to sign letters he's "checked"
--Sometimes acts as sort of a spokesperson for the men


Weak in resolve and soft, the chaplain knows he is not a strong man. He often attempts to correct a situation which he feels strongly about, and ends up failing from lack of firmness/determination.
The chaplain misses his wife, who he loves dearly, and admits is stronger than he is.

"The chaplain felt most deceitful presiding at funerals, and it would not have astonished him to learn that the apparition in the tree that day was a manifestation of the Almighty's censure for the blasphemy and pride inherent in his function."
Decides to stay behind, persevere,and annoy the Colonels and Generals.

-Yossarian's roommate.
-talented mechanic
-seemingly innocent

-mechanic helps to repair things.His skills come in handy during a bd situation.
Has a certain innocence that lightens up the mood; he always adds a giggle or laugh to what he says.
-Eventually gives Yossarian hope when he turns up again in Sweden.

-motivated by simple things in life like mechanics, whores, survival.
-repeatedly crashes plane.
-Constantly tinkering.
-annoying habits

-fairly flat character, however, he has close scrapes where everyone believes him to be dead.
"'I wanted apple cheeks...Even when I was a kid I wanted apple cheeks someday, and I decided to work at it until I got them, and by God, I did work at it until I got them, and that's how I did it, with crab apples in my cheeks all day day long'"(23).
"At last Yossarian spotted the two-engined twin-ruddered plane as it flew out of the green background of the forests...One f the propellers was feathered and perfectly still, but the plane was maintaining altitude and holding a proper course"(151).
-tendency to survive
-Yossarian fears for him, however. He thinks that the war or a person wll take advantage of Orr's simple-minded innocence
-Orr's last mission, he again crashes, and he his raft floats away.
-eventually, he turns up in Sweden, and gives Yossarian hope.

-lightens mood with his random sense of humor and strange, giggly demeanor
--contrasts with the deep thinking of Yossarian

Major Major (Major Major)
- Father told mother that he was to be named Caleb, although he actually named him Major Major
-People continually say he looks like Henry Fonda
-Father was very religious
-Described as shy, lonely and awkward
-Doesn't have many friends

- Squadron Commander: people don't seem to take him very seriously
-"He was certain they resented him because he seemed too good to eat with them now that he was squadron commander." pg 100

- Major Major just wants to stay out of everyone's way, and he doesn't seem to want to talk to anyone
-He's really reclusive.
-Because of past bad treatment, he doesn't believe anyone could like him

-Signs documents with "Washington Irving" or "Irving Washington"

-"What playmates he had withdrew from him and never returned... disposed, as they were to distrust strangers." (pg 95)

-Major Major doesn't know how to handle his rank in traditional ways
-He wants people to ask for him when he's not in his office,which is kind of sad and ironic

" He was polite to his elders, who disliked him.. He was told he should not kill, and he did not kill, until he got into the army... Major Major's elders disliked him because he was such a flagrant nonconformist."
-page 95

Major Major is an example of how childhood effects adult decisions. Heller might also use him in order to question the nature of identity and how people use other names to fool others.

Captain Black
Black got his position as Major Duluth was killed and BLack took over, this means he got more control and moved up in the ranks of the Military. Yet there is no background with regard to a family back home or what he did before the military, showing how he is almost completely absorbed in the war and how killings help and affect him and his own status in the ranks of the Military.
His role on the Larger scale is that of showing how the military boils down to men just trying to out do and show up each other. As Black uses the loyalty pledges to force the men under him to bend and for his own look of doing better than the other Captains as he continued to force more pledges on the men so to stay on top. Yet when He finds Major---de Coverly hates this, he quits the loyalty pledges. Black is also used and abused by other men under him as Yossarian and others steal his car to use.
Captain Black's motives were very clear, as he only wanted to get more loyalty pledges and out do his fellow officers. He enjoyed trying to be on top with numbers and even the thoughts of the officers bending to his chaotic orders. His goal was that of most of the other military men in this Squadron and the military alone in this book, as he wanted to get his name out there and continued to try and out do those who surrounded him to the point where the men had to sign their names to documents just to enter the mess hall and sing the "Star Spangled Banner" just to get their food, etc.
Black used the loyalty pledges to prove his power over people, yet this waste of paper stopped only when Captain Black heard from Major--de Coverley that it was the dumbest thing and in doing that, Captain Black really only wanted somebody's approval and the chance at more power.
Black's only conflicts were with Major Major and Major-- de Coverley not accepting his Glorious Loyalty Crusade. To say Major Major was a Communist, Black refused to let Major Major sign a loyalty pledge as Major Major's only crime was bruising Black's ego by out smarting Black.
Also with Major---- de Coverley's refusal to sign a loyalty pledge as he found them worthless, Black cancelled the crusade all together as he wanted to have Major---de Coverley's approval, so without that, Black could not continue in his mind.

"To Captain Black, every officer who supported his Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade was a competitor, and he planned and plotted twenty-four hours a day to keep one step ahead."(123)
Captain Black is really used by the men under him, as they steal his car frequently and find him to be more of joke. Yet in the grand scheme of things , we don't know if anything happened to him as after the one chapter for him, there was not a lot of follow up with him.
He is a parody of the ways to keep the men loyal and patriotic to this war they are in. Also It is a hyperbole of how the army acts on trying to be the best and show up the next man. As Black is the figure head for the military personnel who try to out do each other and one-up the men they work with, ( with the continued increase in loyalty oaths). AS a character, he is portraying the joke of the military and how they see things just for themselves not the good of the whole group/America.
Yossarian's women: Luciana, Nurse Duckett,
Mrs. Scheisskopf

Yossarian has a brief tryst with Luciana, an Italian woman. Their affair showcases the difficulty of meaningful relationships during wartime, and also the sex-starved nature of the men. Yossarian says several times that Luciana had an "invisible scar" on her back, but this is never fully explained.

Nurse Duckett:
Yossarian and Dunbar violate Nurse Duckett one morning, and Yossarian tries to pass it off as a symptom of his craziness. Nurse Duckett shows the lengths the men will go to to escape their duties. Yossarian later begins a long term affair with Nurse Duckett, but it is clear that neither he nor any of the men respect her or her intelligence: "When she was not shuffling the extra deck of cards, she sat squinting into a tiny pocket mirror, brushing mascara on her curling reddish eyelashes in a birdbrained effort to make them permanently longer (345)."

Mrs. Scheisskopf:
Yossarian spends a Thanksgiving in bed with Lieutenant Scheisskopf's wife, discussing thankfulness and the existence of God. Unlike many of the other women Yossarian sleeps with, Mrs. Scheisskopf engages in intellectual debate with Yossarian, providing a new experience to Yossarian. He is not used to really talking with his women, so he comes off slightly annoyed: "That was the most illogical Thanksgiving he could ever remember spending, and his thoughts returned wishfully to his halcyon fourteen-day quarantine in the hospital the year before (190)"

Satire and Society in Catch-22
Element of/in American Society
Techniques Used
Class prejudice
"Then there was the educated Texan from Texas who looked like someone in Technicolor and felt, patriotically, that people of means-decent folks- should be given more votes than drifters, degenerates, atheists, and indecent folk-people without means"
"'You mean they pray to the same God we do?'
'Yes, sir.'
'And He listenes?'
'I think so, sir.'
'It isn't that I think the enlisted men are dirty, common and inferior. ... Honestly now, Chaplain, you wouldn't want your sister to marry an enlisted man, would you?'"


"Yossarian attended the education sessions because he wanted to find out why so many people were working so hard to kill him. A handful of other men were also interested, and the questions were many and good when Clevinger and the subversive corporal finished and made the mistake of asking if there were any." ... "Group Headquarters was alarmed, for there was no telling what people might find out once they felt free to ask whatever questions they wanted to." (43-44)
Contrasting/paradoxical ideas
""Oh, I am a very moral man,' the villainous old man assured him with satiric seriousness, stroking the bare hip of a buxom black-haired girl with pretty dimples who had stretched herself out seductively on the other arm of his chair"(246).
Alliteration (repetition of "s" and "m" sounds. Heller seems to use alliteration all throughout the book)
"[Mrs. Daneeka] was stunned by the depth of emotion in the almost illegible appeal. she was torn with compunction and tempted to comply, but the very next letter she opened that day was from that same Colonel Cathcart, her husband's group commander.
Dear Mrs., Mr., Miss, or Mr. and Mrs. Daneeka:
Words cannot express the deep personal grief I experienced when your husband, son, father or brother was killed wounded, or reported missing in action.

Mrs. Daneeka moved with her children to Lansing, Michigan, and left no forwarding address" (344).

After Yossarian and Luciana have been together, Yossarian decides he wants to marry her. The two go around in circles telling each other why they can't marry each other. "You are crazy, and so I can't marry you," etc.

"Nurse Cramer had stopped speaking to Nurse Duckett, her best friend, because of her liaison with Yossarian, but still went everywhere eith Nurse Duckett since Nurse Duckett was her best friend... When they stood up and went swimming with Nurse Duckett, Nurse Cramer stood up and went swimming too...When they laughed and splashed, she laughed and splashed; when they dived, she dived; when they swam to the sand bar and rested, Nurse Cramer swam to the sand bar and rested (346)."
Absurd Situation

Major Repetition

Non Sequitur logic

"Yossarian laughed and turned his arms loose. 'Let's have a little more religious freedom between us,' he proposed obligingly, 'You don't believe in the God you want to and I won't believe in the God I want to. Is that a deal?"(180).

"He felt goose pimples clacking all over him as he gazed down despondently at the grim secret Snowden had spilled all over the messy floor. It was easy to read the message in his entrails. Man was matter, that was Snowden's secret. Drop him out a window and he'll fall. Set fire to him and he'll burn. Bury him and he'll rot, like other kinds of garbage. The spirit gone, man is garbage. That was Snowden's secret. Ripeness was all." chapter 41

"And don't tell me God works in mysterious ways," Yossarian continued [...] "There's nothing mysterious about it, He's not working at all. He's playing. Or else He's forgotten all about us. That's the kind of God you people talk about, a country bumpkin, a clumsy, bungling, brainless, conceited, uncouth hayseed. Good God, how much reverence can you have for a Supreme Being who finds it necessary to include such phenomena as phlegm and tooth decay in His divine system of Creation? What in the world was running through that warped, evil, scatological mind of His when He robbed old people of the power to control their bowel movements? Why in the world did He ever create pain?"

" The night was filled with horrors, and he thought he [Yossarian] knew how Christ must have felt as he walked through the world, like a psychiatrist through a ward full of nuts, like a victim through a prison full of theives. What a welcome scene a leper must have been!" page 425
Satirical Syntax


Onomatopoeia ("he felt goose pimples clacking")

Alliteration ("gazed" "despondently" "secret Snowden" "spilled" "messy," etc.)/ Repetition of the "s" sound

Biblical allusion


Milo's work with his import/black market buying for the food and things the men and he wants shows the greed he has as he only thinks of the business and earning more money "for the syndicate." Also as many American have felt (before the recession/catalyst of the recession) with the housing market, Milo brought all the Egyptian Cotton and now holding all the supply with a lowered supply, he feels the pinch of his hope for more money getting him in the butt as no one else wants the cotton. This show of Milo's greed and twisted business (the syndicate) points to the American greed even back in WWII and can relate to now with the ways people try to out smart the market or the economy, yet this can lead to other higher costs. It seems to be an American trait that Heller is looking at and demeaning, as he portray this in "Catch-22"

Absurd Situations
Need to be on top/ Have power
With most of the higher ranking military official in "Catch-22" the ideas to get ahead of each other and get into the articles back home was key to them. As Captain Cathcart continues to raise the number of missions his men need to complete, tries to make plans to get himself recognized, not the group as a whole. Ct. Cathcart tries to become recognized with the mission He volunteers his men for dangerous missions such as Avignon and Bologna.

When Yossarian's superiors are debating what to do with Yossarian, they argue over whether they should have promoted him. They come to the decision they should send Yossarian home in order to increase morale and not create disturbances
Irony- Since Yossarian refused to fly more missions, they are sending him home even though he doesn't have enough. They are afraid he will upset the other men.
Fate and the ways of the world
In this surprisingly serious passage on pages 415 and 416, Yossarian gives the reader a look at the big picture and the world outside of the war. It also shows Yossarian's change of heart since the beginning of the book, as he feels guilty about all the other people in the world that are in worse situations than he is/was.

"Someone had to do something sometime. Every victim was a culprit, every culprit a victim, and somebody had to stand up sometime to try to break the lousy chain of inheirited habit that was imperiling them all.... Yossarian marveled that children could suffer such barbaric sacrifice without evincing the slightest hint of fear or pain. He took it for granted that they did submit so stoically."

Earlier in the book... page 253 (old man is talking)
"You see, Italy is really a very poor and weak country, and that's what makes us so strong.... I am quite certain that Italy will survive this war and still be in existence long after your own country has been destroyed...Rome was destroyed, Greece was destroyed, Spain was destroyed. All great countries are destroyed. Why not yours?... Keep in mind that the earth itself is destined to be destroyed by the sun in twenty-five million years or so."

Strong diction
Historical Allusion

The need to save face/cover up mistakes

Convincing self with own reasoning, whether it is right or wrong

" 'We've got to reach a decision," Colonel Cathcart said to Yossarian. "And it's all your fault. Why did you have to go around twice? Why couldn't you drop your bombs the first time like all the others?'
'I would have missed the first time.'
'It seems to me that we're going around twice,; Colonel Korn interrupted with a chuckle.
'But what are we going to do?' Colonel Cathcart exclaimed with distress. 'The others are all waiting outside.'
'Why don't we give him a medal?' Colonel Korn answered with a reflective, self-satisfied smile. 'After all, I suppose it did take a lot of courage to go over that target a second time with no other planes around to divert the antiaircraft fire. And he did hit the bridge. You know, that might be the answer--to act boastfully about something we ought to be ashamed of. That's a trick that never seems to fail.'
'Do you think it will work?'
'I'm sure it will. And let's promote him to captain, too, just to make certain.'
'Don't you think that's going a bit farther than we have to?'
'No, I don't think so. It's best to play safe. And a captain's not much difference.'
'All right,' Colonel Cathcart decided. 'We'll give him a medal for being brave enough to go around over the target twice. And we'll make him a captain, too.'
Colonel Korn reached for his hat.
'Exit smiling,' he joked, and put his arm around Yossarian's shoulders as they stepped outside the door." (149)

- Korn thinks that what he's doing is getting around haivng to show a "lousy report" to his comrades and superiors (of Yossarian breaking protocol and flying around twice), and Cathcart believes that Yossarian isn't deserving enough of the medal they're going to award him with, but Yossarian actually does deserve the medal because he completed a mission that all others have failed for a long time because he did not obey orders.

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