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Questions tagged [catch-22]

For questions about Catch 22, the novel by Joseph Heller. Use in conjunction with [joseph-heller].

9
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2answers
3k views

In what sense did Yossarian love the chaplain?

It's been a while since I finished Catch-22. But when I first read it, I remember the opening jumping out at me: It was love at first sight. The first time Yossarian saw the chaplain he fell ...
2
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1answer
723 views

What's the significance of the T. S. Eliot reference in Catch-22?

"It takes brains not to make money," Colonel Cargill wrote in one of the homiletic memoranda he regularly prepared for circulation over General Peckem's signature. "Any fool can make money these days ...
12
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1answer
184 views

Did Heller base his sarcastic swipe at academia on any actual example?

In chapter 1 of Catch 22, Yossarian describes how he makes a boring task (censoring letters) interesting by erecting "dynamic intralinear tensions": All the officer patients in the ward were forced ...
4
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0answers
86 views

To what extent was Catch-22 inspired by “The Trial”?

Bureaucratic logic is one of the primary themes in Catch-22. To what extent is this inspired by The Trial by Franz Kafka? Both have the sense of being caught in the cogs of a remote, irrational, and ...
2
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1answer
165 views

Why did Dunbar consider a life of intentional boredom worth living?

In Catch-22, Dunbar would routinely cultivate boredom in an effort to extend his life. Why did he consider that worthwhile? Why did he want a long but boring life?
1
vote
1answer
815 views

Why did Yossarian and Major Major consider “Irving Washington” less monotonous to sign?

Related: Why did Yossarian sign letters with "Washington Irving"? Both Major Major and Yossarian would routinely sign official documents and censorship documents with "Washington Irving" (I ...
2
votes
1answer
477 views

Why did Yossarian sign letters with “Washington Irving”?

When he's in the hospital and is forced to censor letters, Yossarian signed his "name" as "Washington Irving." Later in the book, Major Major does the same thing on official documents. What's the ...
2
votes
1answer
301 views

Why Catch-22 if there was only one catch?

Catch-22 contains the following quote: There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the ...
3
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1answer
219 views

Did Joseph Heller invent this particular use of the verb “to disappear” in Catch-22 or merely popularize it?

When Nurse Duckett informed Yossarian in Catch-22 that the Brass was planning to "disappear" Dunbar, Yossarian replied that "It doesn't make sense. It isn't even good grammar. What the hell does it ...
5
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0answers
183 views

Why were Colonel Cathcart and Colonel Korn so determined to undermine each other?

In Catch-22, both Colonel Cathcart and Colonel Korn seem bound and determined to undermine each other. I know both of them are desperately trying to get promoted (to the point of doing absolutely ...
8
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1answer
808 views

Is there any significance to Major Major being a Henry Fonda lookalike?

One of the big jokes in Catch-22 is Major Major's striking resemblance to Henry Fonda. Why did Joseph Heller choose Henry Fonda in particular? Is there any significance to the choice, or was it a ...
7
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1answer
162 views

Are there any internal inconsistencies in Catch 22?

Because of Catch 22's twisted timeline, while reading it, several times I had the distinct impression that what seemed to have happened so far in the past was different from what apparently happened ...