10 votes
Accepted

In what sense did Yossarian love the chaplain?

I believe, based on the rest of the book, that Yossarian's love for the Chaplain is, most likely, romantic. Whether intentionally or not, Heller wrote Yossarian exhibiting attraction to men multiple ...
  • 116
10 votes
Accepted

Are there any internal inconsistencies in Catch 22?

Yes there are, but they are minor. This is exactly the feeling Joseph Heller wanted to provoke. He both intentionally and by 'planned accident' planted anachronisms in the story, and there are some ...
  • 1,165
7 votes
Accepted

Why Catch-22 if there was only one catch?

"There is only one catch" refers to that particular situation. The previous lines describe a character Orr, who should be grounded (prevented from flying). Which he's entitled to be, on the grounds ...
  • 4,898
6 votes

In what sense did Yossarian love the chaplain?

It may be that he didn't: that this is purely coincidental. Heller had long nurtured an ambition to be a novelist and was working as an advertising copywriter when he began Catch-22. The inspiration ...
  • 15.3k
5 votes
Accepted

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

The central point of this skit is, of course, to illustrate that the Colonels are ill-educated "fools": neither has heard of one of the most famous poets of the 20th century. But any famous poet would ...
  • 15.3k
4 votes
Accepted

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

Unless I'm missing something, after sifting through Google for awhile I haven't been able to discover any other usages of the term other than in the book. Even searches of Google Scholar and various ...
3 votes
Accepted

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

One possible answer is that he simply doesn't think about that - that's part of the irony. He doesn't know exactly why he wants to live for a long time, just that he does, and that intentional boredom ...
2 votes

How many copies of Catch-22 had been sold by 2019?

I'm not sure if this really answers your question, but I've tracked down an original source for the "ten million copies" claim. This figure was first given by the author himself in 1986. ...
  • 65k
2 votes
Accepted

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

From Containment Culture: American Narratives, Postmodernism, and the Atomic Age, by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Professor of Literature Alan Nadel: If the authority for offices of command ...
2 votes
Accepted

Why did Yossarian sign letters with "Washington Irving"?

Three of the most important reasons appear to be a) the fact that he was dead b) the fact that most of the bureaucrats evidently hadn't heard of him (based on the fact that CID men come looking for ...

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