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Catch-22 | Study Guide

Joseph Heller

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Catch-22 | Infographic

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about Joseph Heller's Catch-22. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

Artboard 1At 19, Heller joined the U.S. Army Air Corps. He flew 60 combat missions in World War II and based Catch-22 on his wartime experiences. After the war, he taught at several universities and wrote six other novels in addition to screenplays and a Broadway play.JOSEPH HELLER1923-1999AuthorJoseph Heller1961EnglishNovel AuthorYear PublishedOriginal LanguageCatch-22War LiteratureFlies more missionsThe insanity of war is the central theme of Catch-22, set in Italy during World War II. Air Force bombardier Yossarian spends the novel trying to avoid death as his superiors constantly raise the number of missions he must fly in order to be released from service.In Wartime, It's Crazy to be SaneOVERVIEWDoes not ask to be groundedAsks to be groundedLabeled as fit for combatIF INSANEIF SANEWar unhinges everyone it touches, especially those in the military.Insanity of WarYossarian's struggle to make sense of death drives the action in the book.Senseless DeathEvery soldier has lost his sense of patriotism, and none of the superiors can be trusted.DisillusionmentYossarian censors soldiers' mail, and form letters are sent to the families of dead soldiers.Communication BreakdownThemesThe soldier wrapped in bandages represents any nameless, suffering soldier.Soldier in WhiteSymbolsThe rule called "Catch-22" symbolizes Yossarian's problem: anyone who wants to stop flying missions on the grounds of insanity must be sane.Catch-22The photos represent the pointless priorities of Yossarian's Squad 256, who are made to fly in photogenic, not effective, formations.Aerial PhotosYears from Heller's war experience (1944) to the start of writing (1953)Minutes to sketch out the entire bookYears to finish writing the bookDay to write the first chapter19908Weeks from its hardcover publication to its appearance in paperback, when it became a national best seller~50here was only one catch and that was Catch-22...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. Narrator, Chapter 5Doctor who defines Catch-22 concept Doc Daneeka Squadron captain who hates war and scorns patriotismYossarianYossarian's friend who is losing his religionThe ChaplainMess officer who runs black-market syndicateMilo MinderbinderColonel who constantly sends his men on dangerous missionsCathcartMain CharactersSources: The Atlantic,, Simon & Schuster, Vanity FairCopyright © 2016 Course Hero, Inc.Catch-22by the Numbers

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