No Soldier May Leave: The Movie Catch 22

889 words - 4 pages

Catch-22 was definitely a catch! This “law” was the main metaphor of how crazy war really was and of the military authority. Joseph Heller used this catch in a humorous way, basically making it a loophole preventing any soldier from leaving the war. “Insane or not, the young men are indirectly forced to engage in combat and fight for a war they do not know about” (http://epubl.itu.se). He uses much black humor throughout the book, to relieve the horrors of war, death, and so on. He also uses so many unique techniques which can get so confusing, that the reader is distracted from the true terror and agony that people face in war. There are 3 specific examples of black humor in the book. For example, Heller makes the army unable to comprehend death and life. Secondly, he satirizes death and rape and last but not least miscommunication, which is key to everything.
It is quite ironic how a dead man is said to be living and how an obviously living man is claimed to be dead. This is how Heller uses black humor in this particular scenario. It’s amazing the power of written word. Most people think that if it’s put in print it has to be so (answers.com). This is exactly what took place in Yossarian’s squadron. There were countless mix ups in the files, claiming people were dead when they really weren’t and vice versa. (answers.com). For example, the dead man in Yossarian’s tent. He accidentally reported to the wrong squadron and soon died hours later on a mission. Since he was not listed on paper, he was believed to never have been there. On another occasion, Doc Daneeka had bribed Yossarian to alter paperwork saying he was flying a mission, when really, he wasn’t. (http://books.google) The plane crashed and he was pronounced dead. The colonels were visibly upset about losing Doc Daneeka. Although on numerous occasions they spoke directly to him, they were not convinced he was alive since it conflicted with his death report. Gus believed the papers too, “Your dead sir…That’s probably the reason you always feel so cold” (Catch 22, chapter 31, page 341). The ironic thing is that he is induced that he is dead, while he is actually talking to him. Heller does this to show the effects war and death have on people, and how over time they appear almost programmed and controlled by military commands and documented military reports.
Misogyny and murder is then taken to the next level. Heller in this scene tries to humorize the horrible rape and murder of the countess’s maid, Michaela (gradesaver..major-themes) into an ironic turn-around on poor Yossarian. After attacking and killing the young girl, Aarfy...

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