By Joseph Heller
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"Catch-22" by Joseph Heller is a satirical novel set during World War II. It tells the story of Captain John Yossarian, an American bombardier trying to maintain his sanity amidst the chaos and illogical bureaucracy of the military. The title refers to a paradoxical bureaucratic rule that makes it impossible for soldiers to escape dangerous situations or be considered insane if they seek to. Yossarian and his fellow soldiers face absurd challenges, including the relentless pursuit of missions that often result in death, a corrupt and indifferent hierarchy, and the constant fear of losing their lives. Heller’s brilliant use of dark humor and absurdity reveals the insanity of war and questions the logic of the institutions that perpetuate it. Through a series of interconnected vignettes and flashbacks, the novel explores the themes of trauma, mortality, loyalty, and the fragility of the human spirit. It confronts readers with the absurdity of war and the inherent contradictions that accompany it, leaving them pondering the true meaning of courage, morality, and human nature. Heller’s masterful storytelling, comic style, and biting commentary make "Catch-22" a timeless classic that continues to resonate with readers, reminding us of the inherent absurdities and paradoxes present in our own society.
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