Shannon McHugh Professor Beckwith Eng 303/ Essay #4 2 February 2011 Finding Balance from Unbalance From the very beginning of Joseph Heller’s bookCatch-22the reader is swamped with a deluge of characters. This was to give a similar effect that the military does to a new military personal. As the story progresses, these characters open up to be more individualistically unique. There is not a single character that has not experienced what is broadly termed hysterics- they all experience it in their own way. Each of the characters that the reader is introduced to lack a position of power but at the same time they own a portion of power that is dissimilar to others. The torment that they experience makes them seem weak and petrified but they all have something that keeps them from going over the deep end- in some it is the power and for others it’s the thoughts of life after the military. This causes a perpetual swing from one extreme situation to the next. It is this theme of a catch-22 that pushes apart all of the characters and obliges them to each other. This unbalanced act that they go through is somehow canceled out when everyone in the story is taken account of. As a whole they balance each other out. This great unbalanced act can be seen with, the second most memorable character, Milo Minderbinder. He causes a remarkable unrest throughout the base while at the same time giving these people exactly what they need and want. The price for the men to obtain these items isn’t financial or illicit but it is costly. They have to unleash a wicked monster. He is capitalistic monster with no moral boundaries except to not do business with a communistic country; which isn’t an immoral act but one that goes against his own principles- for whatever that might be worth. Although, agreeing to a contract with the Nazi’s would seem to disobey the morality clause, Milo was still able to rationalize why bombing his own base was reasonable through circular logic (241). Milo has created many forms of Catch-22’s for the people he in comes into contact with. The people want the money and food that the syndicate brings in but the apex of the possible risk is the likelihood of losing one’s life. Was this gain worth the lives of Snowden and Mudd? Only Yossarian seems to think not. On base Milo is just a lieutenant on base but in other parts of the world he is a mayor, Assistant Governor-General, Vice-Shah, Caliph, Imam, and Sheik (222, 224). He earned those titles through scamming people while getting rich. However, the way that catch-22 works is that everyone must be subjected to a dilemma that is equal but opposite in its own evil way. If this is true than his character has one big unbalance to be deliver. Considering that the one big thing that is eating up all of the characters is guilt- Milo will sorting out his guilty conscious for a long time. Unfortunately, the way that Milo has been portrayed up to this point in the book is of a person whose ethics are based on whether or not a profit has been made. Thus, he will only suffer his due coming when he is broke.