Catch-22

by: Joseph Heller

Suggested Essay Topics

Think about chronology in the novel. How does the disordered, tangential presentation of events affect the flow of the story? What devices does Heller employ to allow the reader to piece together the order of events? What kind of unified narrative, if any, ultimately emerges? What does this portrayal say about the idea of time in Catch-22?

Discuss the chaplain. How does his religious faith develop and change as the story progresses? What does his timidity say about the power of moral absolutes in the world of the military? What is the significance of his sensation of déjà vu?

Think about the novel’s use of setting and scene. What effect do the rapid shifts between the base and the hospital, or between Pianosa and Rome, have on the presentation of the story? What does each location seem to represent?

What does Snowden’s death mean to Yossarian?

How does Catch-22 differ from other war stories?


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