Homework Help

How would you explain Joseph Heller's style in Catch-22 with textual evidence to...

user profile pic

dteshi99 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 21, 2010 at 8:00 AM via web

dislike 1 like

How would you explain Joseph Heller's style in Catch-22 with textual evidence to support? 

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 14, 2011 at 12:01 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 2 like

Satire is the key word of Joseph Heller's novel, Catch-22. His cast of characters are almost uniformly treated in extreme exaggeration, and the key elements of satire--irony, social criticism, and parody--can be found in abundance. High-ranking officers are consistently incompetent, and the chain of command is clogged with examples of idiocy, political appointments and nepotism. For example, Captain Major Major Major is promoted solely because his superiors see no reason for a man with such a name should not be "Major" Major Major Major. Milo Minderbinder becomes the most powerful man in the entire theatre of war due to his ability to turn a profit at all costs. Yossarian's sanity is constantly questioned because he actually cares about the dangers that threaten him. Doc Daneeka, who is quite alive, is officially recognized as killed in action because his name was included in the flight logs of the plane that went down. Yossarian is arrested for being AWOL instead of Aarfy, who has murdered a prostitute by pushing her out a window. Heller's style of lunacy extends to the war itself, where Milo's profit margin becomes more important than human life; his contract to strafe his own men is sanctioned without apparent question. The satirical content is the perfect background for what is one of the strongest anti-war novels ever written.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes