Flannery O’Conner argued that “ [ Distortion ] is the lone manner to do people see” . This celebrated statement is ab initio contradictory and incongruous. but in Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 it is easy to see the truth of this paradox. The pages of Catch-22 are lined with deformation and each case provides for a new sort of lucidity. Catch-22 is merely a war narrative illustrated by pathetic behaviour and unlogical statements and told in a categorically satirical tone. Though the book ne’er states outright that affairs are amusing. the reader is ever cognizant of how outrageously bizarre the characters and state of affairss are.
Heller uses out of sequence narrative. a baffled differentiation between visual aspect and world. and the irrationally logical paranoia of characters to make his corrupt military universe. Distortion is found foremost in the very organisation of the novel. Many events are out of sequence and Heller discusses events as if readers were already cognizant of their inside informations. though simply adverting them for the first clip. Often times Heller mentions events multiple times before one of all time reads about it in it’s entireness. For illustration. the decease of Snowden is easy explained throughout the book.
The decease is foremost referred to early on in chapter four when Yossarian asks. “Where are the Snowdens…” ( Heller 35 ) at an educational meeting. This inquiry is asked without context and the reader is diffident of what a Snowden is. allow alone how it died. By making this duologue without context. Heller leaves readers to oppugn the becoming incoherent inquiry and the thought of Snowdens is planted in their encephalons. The decease is mentioned in chapters five and 17 and though more information is provided each clip. the reader does non to the full understand what took topographic point until chapter 30 when the inside informations and context of Snowden’s decease are given.
At foremost. this manner of structural organisation creates some confusion for readers but as they continue on a greater focal point and apprehension of an event such as Snowden’s decease is found. Snowden’s decease is an improbably critical event for Yossarian because he non merely loses his friend in the aeroplane ; he loses his will to contend. With Snowden lying dead in his weaponries. the truth of war becomes even more awful and existent and Yossarian becomes genuinely paranoid. Without the focal point that the scattered and perennial plot line of Snowden provides. one may non hold been able to hold on its true significance.
Often times Catch-22 is characterized by a really loose clasp on world. The line between what is evident and what is existent is continually identical. even to readers. One facet that contributes greatly to this consequence is the deformation of justness and the military trifles. In the military universe created by Heller. what is written on paper is what is true. even if it can be defied by world. Throughout much of the book. Yossarian is found kicking that there is a “dead man” ( 24 ) in his collapsible shelter.
When the construct of the dead adult male is foremost introduced. the readers are led to believe that there is an existent dead soldier sitting in Yossarian’s collapsible shelter. which the armed forces refuses to take. However. ulterior elucidation shows that is non the instance at all. but instead. after puting his baggage down. the soldier was killed in the air before he even got the opportunity to subscribe in. The inexorable sarcasm of the state of affairs is that harmonizing to the visual aspect based logic of the armed forces. it is as if the adult male was ne’er at that place at all. and his things can therefore non be processed.
Another illustration of such deformed world is found in McWatt’s plane clang. Doc Daneeka had lied about winging with McWatt. due to his fright of winging. but the paperss had it that Daneeka died in the plane clang ( 338 ) . Everyone can visibly see that Doc Daneeka is alive. in the flesh. and yet he is reported as “killed in action” ( 344 ) . and Daneeka is treated like he is dead for the balance of the novel. The world of the armed forces has been so contorted that they are more willing to accept the truth they read than the truth they can see.
This confusion between visual aspect and world demonstrates the deteriorated province of the military authorities and forces readers to give a greater attending to the inside informations of such plot line. A 3rd sort of deformation are the irrational and paranoid statements and ideas of the book’s supporter. Yossarian. Though Yossarian probably entered the ground forces a sane adult male. he seemingly loses his clasp on world as he watches his friends die in the war environing him. Yossarian is frequently referred to as “crazy” ( 20 ) and yet there is sarcasm in the fact that every paranoiac idea he has is true.
Yossarian has a exclusive end through the continuance of the book: staying alive. He goes up into the sky and finds aeroplanes hiting at him from all waies. and so he goes every bit far as to see himself as a possible slaying victim. “They’re seeking to kill me” ( 16 ) . he argues to a fellow plebe. Though the other plebe insists that “they” are merely partaking in a war. Yossarian’s paranoia illustrates a sky full of aliens who want him dead. Though Yossarian’s ideas are irrational. they besides prove to be slightly sensible. The truth is. every clip Yossarian goes on a mission his life is in sedate danger. and people are seeking to kill him.
Though his idea procedure is distorted by fright. this fright is in bend what proves his saneness. Catch-22 is non a book that can be truly summarized. It is non the remarkability of the secret plan but instead the distinguishable signifier of literary deformation that makes it such a authoritative. This fresh illustrates the corruptness of wartime and a peculiar squadron. but in terminal. it illustrates much more so that. The book uses often-comic deformations of construction. world. and head to give readers a profound sense of cosmopolitan defects and truths.