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 ___________________________ Catch-22 by Joseph Heller


 

STUDYWORLD STUDYNOTES

Catch-22

 

Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 1-7

Summary:

Yossarian, an American bombardier during World War II, has faked a liver ailment and has been hospitalized on the island of Pianosa. He prefers the safe environment of the ward over the dangerous B-25 bombing missions and plays the role of an ailing service man admirably well. To his delight, some of the other men in the ward have faked their illnesses also and since they were actually quite healthy, the men were able to enjoy each other's company and had a fun time.

This pleasant atmosphere was spoiled when the Texan was brought into the ward. He was a good-natured, likable person but an incessant talker. After a while, he became so unbearable that Yossarian and some of the other "patents" couldn't stand him anymore and they told the doctor that they felt well enough to resume active duty.

After his release from the hospital, he remembers the conversation that he had with Clevinger, an officer in his unit. He recalls that they were arguing about the senselessness of the war and that he had told Clevinger about his feelings of expecting to be killed. Clevinger said that Yossarian was being paranoid and psychotic.

He meets Doc Daneeka and tells him that he is unfit for duty and needs to be sent home. Daneeka tells him that his must first complete the required number of missions before he can be sent home. He also tells him that Colonel Cathcart has again raised the requirements and that he should make the best of the situation. Yossarian pleads to be grounded, but it is to no avail. He then begins to think of the position that he holds in the plane when they go on their mission and he becomes terrified for his life.

Yossarian also learns from Doc Daneeka the clause of Catch-22.

"'Catch-22...says you've always got to do what your commanding officer tells you to.
"'But Twenty-seventh Air Force says I can go home with forty missions.'
"'But they don't say you have to go home. And regulations do say you have to obey every order. That's the catch. Even if the colonel were disobeying a Twenty-seventh Air Force order by making you fly more missions, you'd still have to fly them, or you'd be guilty of disobeying an order of his. And then the Twenty-seventh Air Force Headquarters would really jump on you.'"

 

Review:

The reader is introduced to a maze of characters and learns how each one deals with the concept of war. Yossarian, the main character, presents the main theme, the absurdity of the war. Colonel Cathcart personifies bureaucratic power in that he can arbitrarily raise the required number of missions and prevent the men from leaving.

The story jumps from one incident to another and is told in the form of recollections. This causes events to seem jumbled and not clear.

The main theme of he novel is introduced in Chapter Six.

 

  • Biography of Joseph Heller

  • About Catch-22

  • Character List

  • Quick/Fast Review

  • Short Analysis

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 1-7

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 8-14

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 15-21

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 22-28

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 29-35

  • Comprehensive Summary and Review of Chapters 36-42

  • Studyworld Essay Search on Catch-22


     

     

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