5_BronsL_DramaticMonologue - DRAMATIC MONOLOGUE CATCH-22 By Joseph Heller LILLY BRONS KNOX PERIOD 5 AP LIT 31 MAY 2013 OVERVIEW Yossarian is convinced

5_BronsL_DramaticMonologue - DRAMATIC MONOLOGUE CATCH-22 By...

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OVERVIEW Yossarian is convinced that millions of people are out to kill him. With the absurd logic used throughout Joseph Heller's Catch-22 , he is, in fact, correct. However all the other squadron members think he is insane. This book follows many characters who revolve around John Yossarian, a fighter pilot stationed off the coast of Italy on an the island of Pianosa during the Second World War. Surrounded by death and the gruesomeness of war, Yossarian seeks out several ways to get out of duty. Early on, he decides to plead insanity to the doctor ("Doc Daneeka") in order to get out of his flying duties. However there is a catch—Catch-22. According to this, if a man flies and is willing to risk his life by doing so, he is insane. However if he cites insanity in order to get out of his duties of flying, then he is sane, and is therefore capable and required to fly. This is just one example of many "catches" that Yossarian encounters during Heller's novel. Catch-22 is only one example of the absurdity and insanity that is rampant in Heller's novel. Absurdity also crops up in the motivations of the commanding officers in Yossarian's squadron. These officers are blindly determined to be promoted or publicly lauded for their efforts. However their efforts only include putting their men in dangerous situations in which their goal is to get a "tight aerial photograph" or something vain of the like. Success is no longer measured by accuracy and getting the job done with no fatalities—it is measured in risk and vanity. Although these missions are risky, only the squadron men—not the officers—are the ones whose lives are put at risk. People who eventually end up dead in combat surround Yossarian. In fact, the narrator often returns to the untimely death of a young soldier named Snowden, who died in Yossarian's arms during one of the ridiculously impractical missions to which they were assigned. This even marks the point at which Yossarian loses his desire to fly. Yossarian realizes that, because he keeps a running temperature of 101 and has boarder-line liver failure, he can avoid his mission duties by staying in the hospital. But soon he realizes that his responsibilities will eventually catch up to him, and he will be required to fulfill the number of missions required of him. Because the timeline is skewed, the only real way to orient oneself, as a reader, is to know the current number of missions required of the squadron members. The number requirement is constantly increasing, so the men have no way to go home—they fly, or they die flying. Thinking it will give them more recognition; the commanding officers arbitrarily increase mission requirements. Nearing the end, Yossarian begins to only see the gruesome and dark aspects of life at war. The hopelessness of ever finding a way out leads him to act somewhat absurdly.
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BIOGRAPHY The son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, Joseph Heller was born on May 1, 1923 in Brooklyn, New York. At age five, Heller's father died after an unsuccessful surgical
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