Study Guide

Catch-22

by Joseph Heller

Catch-22 Characters

Characters Discussed (Great Characters in Literature)

Captain John Yossarian

Captain John Yossarian, a United States Air Force bombardier who tries to escape World War II by embracing the absurd. He is foiled by the madness and stupidity around him and by the ultimate irony of the rule known as Catch-22: Anyone can be grounded for being insane, but requesting to be grounded means that an individual is sane.

Colonel Cathcart

Colonel Cathcart, the group commander, who sends his pilots on increasingly dangerous missions in order to become famous and earn a promotion.

Major Major Major

Major Major Major, the commander of the 256th Squadron, who was promoted by a machine.

Lieutenant Milo Minderbinder

Lieutenant Milo Minderbinder, the mess officer. He turns his black market operation into a powerful syndicate and is not above aiding the enemy for profit.

Captain Black

Captain Black, the squadron intelligence officer, who constantly requires pilots to swear loyalty oaths.

Doc Daneeka

Doc Daneeka, the flight surgeon. He informs Yossarian about the tenets of Catch-22.

Captain R. O. Shipman

Captain R. O. Shipman, the chaplain, who is accused of tampering with the enlisted men’s mail.

General Dreedle

General Dreedle, the wing commander, who is engaged in a power struggle with General Peckem.

General Peckem

General Peckem, the commander of Special Services. He is more concerned with appearances than with military strategy.

Clevinger

Clevinger,

Orr

Orr,

Kid Sampson

Kid Sampson,

McWatt

McWatt,

Aardvark

Aardvark,

Hungry Joe

Hungry Joe, and

Nately

Nately, members of the 256th Squadron.

Catch-22 Themes and Characters

The protagonist of Catch-22, Captain John Yossarian, is motivated by two closely related impulses: to subvert the repressive military...

(The entire section is 564 words.)

Catch-22 Characters

Captain Aarfy Aardvaark
Yossarian's navigator, Aardvaark pretends he can't hear Yossarian's commands and laughs when...

(The entire section is 3870 words.)