Catch 22

Right, I finally did it. After months of procrastinating, spending time on other books while this lay ignored, I finally completed a journey through the World War with a captain named Yossarian. This book is about the War. And makes us realize that we don’t really need to depict/write about tragedies in order to explain that wars are only about killing people. No one really gains anything from it.

Funny and thought provoking is how I would define the work. At least till the last 3-4 chapters, where there is some reality check and we are put through the misery in the real sense. Each Catch 22 situation is well presented and makes you laugh out loud.

Yossarian is what most of us are NOT. We simply go through the motions without really complaining. Believe in something called a destiny and that all that we do will take us there. There are times when we need to question the system, simply because the system might be wrong and no one really realizes that, because they are too busy thinking that the system is right. We all go through the system right from our birth. We are told that we need to clear high school with flying colours so that we can relax when in college. When we are in college, they just raise the bar and say that we need to graduate with flying colours so that we can relax while at work. When we start working, we work harder, so that we can have a peaceful life when retired. And when we are retired, it is almost time to die, that you don’t have time to live.

Yossarian may come off as an escapist, but he was questioning the system. He questioned the system because a few men up in the hierarchy were making him, among many others, a pawn in their selfish motive, which was to go up higher in the ladder. All in the name of country.

Let us take a look at another character, Milo. He is the man who is the symbol of the greed prevalent in society. He is selfish and drools when the term “profit” is mentioned. People who stoop down to any level to make money. He is the one who abuse the system for his needs. Rings any bells?(I am sure, most Indians know whom I meant.)

Then, there are the voices who do not stand a chance to be heard and are blamed for anything. Voices, who really wish that change comes to the system, but are too afraid to speak out or when they do, their voices are blanked out. Chaplain is one of them. He has no choice, but to stay within the system.However, such men find their voice, when someone else also shows the courage to do so.

Sorry for a few spoilers above. But they are not spoilers. If you can gather the patience to sit through the initial few pages, I highly recommend that you read this book, if you haven’t already. If you have read this book, I will highly recommend that you read this book again. Want to know why?

YOSSARIAN LIVES

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About milcom
A software developer by profession, Milcom is a football lover and considers music as his religion. While he is not working, he likes reading blogs, listening to music, reading novels or simply sitting idle, in which he is a world champion.

2 Responses to Catch 22

  1. Ranjit says:

    I have read Catch22 numerous times. Each time, I catch my breath. It is audacious and sly. Joseph Heller, who was Jewish, very cleverly inserts a Jewish protagonist. It’s on WW2, remember. If there is one word to describe this book (This itself is an unsurmountable challenge!), I would call it “subversive”. The novel disrupts our precepts of war. Peel away the humour and one is forced to deal with the futility and horror of war. It is the Classic Post war, anti war novel. Joseph Heller’s black humour defined his writing. I am sure that on re reading this book, you would be confronted with new perspectives. Catch 22 is a true classic, a tour de force.

  2. Rajesh says:

    The current system s always wrong…

    ” There’s room at the top they are telling you still,
    But first you must learn how to smile as you kill,
    If you want to be like the folks on the hill,
    A working class hero is something to be.
    A working class hero is something to be.
    If you want to be a hero well just follow me,
    If you want to be a hero well just follow me. ” – John Lennon (Working Class Hero)

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