Catch 22

By Joseph Heller


Catch 22 tells the story of a young bombardier's life in the Air Force during WWII. Yossarian and his crew are assigned to fly a certain number of bombing missions over Europe in order to make it home, however, as the story continues, you quickly learn that it is more difficult than it seems to make it home by flying missions. The number of missions that you must fly in order to make it back is continually changing and becomes all the more difficult to reach the closer you get to it.


Catch 22 is an excellent book for teenage men to read. It shows the struggle that young men in the military faced and the mental fatigue that war can have on someone's mind. Catch 22 displays very believable characters put into a situation where they are nearly driven insane by stress and the environment around them. Yossarian is a great character who many can relate with and who is still very well developed within the story. I would highly recommend that everyone pick up Catch 22 and at least give it a try. The first few chapters are a little odd at first, but soon the plot develops and the story progresses.


Yossarian is the main protagonist in Catch-22. He is a young Air Force pilot in World War One who dreads every moment he is in the military. He is feared for his life every time he runs a bombing mission anywhere in Europe. Yossarian's camp is filled with interesting and insane characters that make the story all the more interesting. With characters like Chief White Halfcoat and members of the bombing crew like Aarfy, the characters that fill Catch-22 only make the story better and make the feeling of war all the more dreadful.

Favorite Passage

"Yossarian was dumbfounded by his state of rapturous contentment Aarfy was like an eerie ogre in a dream, incapable of being bruised or evaded, and Yossarian dreaded him for a complex of reasons he was too petrified to untangle. Wind whistling up through the jagged gash in the floor kept the myriad bits of paper circulating like alabaster particles in a paperweight and contributed to a sensation of lacquered, waterlogged unreality. Everything seemed strange, so tawdry and grotesque. His head was throbbing from a shrill clamor that drilled relentlessly into both ears. It was McWatt, begging for directions in an incoherent frenzy. Yossarian continued staring in tormented fascination at Aarfy's spherical countenance beaming at him so serenely and vacantly through the drifting whorls of white paper bits and concluded that he was a raving lunatic just as eight bursts of flak broke open successively at eye level off to the right, then eight more, and then eight more, the last group pulled over toward the left so that they were almost directly in front.
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Works Cited

Boeing B-17 Formation Bomb Drop. 1944. Photograph. U.S. Air Force.

The Crew of the Memphis Belle. N.d. Photograph. U.S. Air Force, North Carolina.

Heller, Joseph, and Brice Matthieussent. Catch 22. Paris: B. Grasset, 1985. Print.

The Memphis Belle. Perf. Matthew Modine, Eric Stoltz. and Tate Donovan. Distributed by Paramount Pictures, Inc. under the Auspices of the Office of War Information through the War Activities Committee, Motion Picture Industry, 1990. DVD.