In Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, I have been mostly intrigued with the sheer amount of satire that Heller employs in his writing. It is a critical theme to his book that I mentioned in my first post. His satire clearly demonstrates the problems and issues facing society when talking about war. Heller’s use of sarcasm is probably my key point of interest as it represents the very core of his argument in that a society in war glorifies war to an unhealthy extent for its constituents. One quote that clearly represents the struggles between Captain Yossarian, the main character and symbol for sanity, and his peers, who symbolize insanity, would be when the war surrounding the soldiers was supposedly conventional rather than stressful to their lives. Heller notes, “The only thing going on was a war, and no one seemed to notice but Yossarian and Dunbar” (Heller 14). The significance of this quote is that soldiers grew accustomed to the ways of war as they spent more and more time on the battlefield, which further exacerbated the issue of oversimplification of war.
I especially appreciate the way that Heller develops Yossarian’s character. He makes use of all the characters surrounding Yossarian as foils to enhance the normalcy of Yossarian in a society filled with people lost in dreams. Through this, both Yossarian and his comrades appear to be well-developed characters. As characters who only seek to gain military promotion or individuals who aim to solely possess material valuables appear, it is clear to both Yossarian and the reader that the various critiques on society only emphasize the impact of war on society, thus pushing Heller’s claims even further while creating an enticing story for the reader to behold.