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David Walla

on 4 December 2015

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Transcript of Catch-22

Joseph Heller
B. 1923 in Brooklyn, NY
-Loved to write from a young age
-Joined Air Corps at the age of 19
-Missions tortured him for years
(5% death rate per mission)
-Couldn't write about war until '53
-"tortured, funny, deeply peculiar human being" - J. Heller
-Began book '53 and finished in '61
Pianosa Island
WWII - 256th Bombing Squadron
2 "Acts"
Act 1- extremely satirical with each sentence dripping in all types of humor.

Act 2-abruptly crushing with a much darker tone to the rest of the book (excluding the final chapter)
Captain Yossarian
Milo Minderbinder
Milo Minderbinder
Colonel Cathcart
Doc Daneeka
General Dreedle
Nurse Duckett
Hungry Joe
Nately's prostitue
Colonel Korn
Major Danby
Chief White Halfoat
Major Major Major Major
Soldier in White
Major -- de Coverly
Lieutenant Scheisskopf
Washington Irving
Captain Black
-Anti-hero (A protagonist who lacks conventional heroic qualities such as charm,
, and morality)
"Yossarian was moved by such intense pity for his poverty that he wanted to smash his pale, sad, sickly face with his fist and knock him out of existence" (422)
Yossarian transforms during the book, after the death of a member in his plane
"He had decided to live forever, or die in the attempt" (29)
-The style of writing
No order
Flashback (An interruption of the chronological sequence with a past event)
Anticlimax (the usually sudden transition from a significant idea to a trivial, ludicrous idea) i.e. Dunbar
Insanity of War
"That crazy bastard."
"He's not so crazy," Dunbar said. "He swears he's not going to fly to Bologna."
"That's just what I mean," Dr. Stubbs answered. "That crazy bastard may be the only sane one left."
-War doesn't make any sense, which the book does just that at points. (Pianosa Island, Backwards thoughts)
-The American Dream gone too far
Allusion- a brief and indirect reference to a person, place, thing, or idea of significance
Not truly evil, but greed for money causes atrocities to take place
“I don’t understand why you buy eggs at seven cents a piece in Malta and sell them for five cents.”
“I do it to make a profit.”
“But how can you make a profit? You lose two cents an egg.”
“But I make a profit of three and a quarter cents an egg by selling them at four and a quarter cents an egg to the people in Malta I buy them from for seven cents an egg. Of course, I don’t make the profit. The syndicate makes the profit. And everybody has a share.”
Yossarian felt he was beginning to understand. “And the people you sell the eggs to at four and a quarter cents a piece make a profit of two and three quarter cents a piece when they sell them back to you at seven cents a piece. Is that right? Why don’t you sell the eggs directly to you and eliminate the people you buy them from?”
“Because I am the people I buy them from,” Milo explained. “I make a profit of three and a quarter cents a piece when I sell them to me and a profit of two and three quarter cents apiece when I buy them back from me. That’s a total profit of six cents an egg. I lose only two cents an egg when I sell them to the mess halls at five cents apiece, and that’s how I can make a profit buying eggs for seven cents apiece and selling them for five cents apiece. I pay only one cent a piece at the hen when I buy them in Sicily.”
“In Malta,” Yossarian corrected. “You buy your eggs in Malta, not Sicily.”
Milo chortled proudly. “I don’t buy eggs from Malta,” he confessed… “I buy them in Sicily at one cent apiece and transfer them to Malta secretly at four and a half cents apiece in order to get the price of eggs up to seven cents when people come to Malta looking for them.”
Power Of Bureaucracy
- The powerful character's abuse of rank
- Catch-22 (the illogical rules of the bureaucrats)
- More money and more power
-Wars only benefit the powerful
My opinion
-If you're looking for a humurous, satirical book, this is the one for you!
-Totally genius writing
Full transcript