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Catch 22

            Through closely analysing three sequences explore how Heller uses them in the presentation of his themes.
             In ‘Catch 22’ Heller uses many themes, using his unique style, to satirize war and the values it portrays. ‘Catch 22’ is a difficult term to explain, but basically it is referring to the fact that every rule has an exception. This catch keeps the main character, Yossarian, within the war, because the fear he has for his own life proved he wasn’t crazy and therefore couldn’t be sent home. The catch is also used by the superior powers to uphold or increase their control and therefore harmful to those who do not have the power, such as Yossarian. There are many themes in ‘Catch 22’ and Heller uses his stylistic techniques to reinforce these, the main themes being, greed, absolute power of bureaucracy, loss of religious faith and the inevitability of death. .
             I am going to look deeper into three sequences which reflect three of these themes, firstly I am going to investigate the absolute power of bureaucracy. The novel shows how an average man can be manipulated by war, and not only has to fight the enemy but has to fight his own men. This especially applies to the upper army officials and officers. This is one of the most important aspects of ‘Catch 22’, the fact that the soldiers themselves are not in control of their military lives, an impersonal bureaucracy is. The men must risk their lives despite knowing that a large proportion of their missions are useless. Yossarian only learns this fact after the death of Snowdon in the back of his plane. .
             The sequence I am going to investigate which reflects the absolute power of bureaucracy can be seen through the military courts; where rather than the notion of innocent until proven guilty, you are guilty until you can prove you’re innocent. An example of this within ‘Catch 22’ is the court scene involving the power crazed Lieutenant Scheisskof, “Scheisskopf was one of the judges who would weigh the merits of the case against Clevinger as presented by the prosecutor.