Gems From Catch-22
Catch-22 is a novel that is widely acclaimed as a master piece by Joseph Heller. The story is set in Pianosa, Italy and the period is second world war. It highlights the plight of men of US army and air force sent there to take part in the war. It ridicules the working style of bureaucracy in the army where no logical thing happens. Heller himself was a pilot in the second war in that theater and has closely observed the war and the working of government machinery. In a nutshell it highlights the absurdity of the war and its effect on the people especially serving the armed forces.
Not a single line of the book is written without a meaning; the book is full of logic which seems sometimes to contradict our normal psyche. Catch 22 has become an idiom meaning in a dilemma or situation from which there is no escape. Here are to start a few quotations:
There was only one catch………… that was Catch-22
Everyday, three doctors with efficient mouths and inefficient eyes, came to wards check patient for their ailments.
The captain was a good chess player, and the games were always interesting. Yossarian had stopped playing chess with him because the games were so interesting they were foolish.
Dunbar was lying motionless on his back again with his eyes staring up at the ceiling like a doll’s. He was working hard at increasing his life span. He did it by cultivating boredom. He was working so hard at increasing his life span that Yossarian(the protagonist of the story) thought he was dead.