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Word Count: 2,146
In structure most novels use a straight-line approach the plot unfolds from beginning to end Even stories that start in the middle often return to a point in the past and then tell events from that time up to the present Both Catch-22 and Charming Billy however differ They do not use time or order The only way one can tell day from day year from year is by recalling certain landmark events in the plot Yossarian and Billy are the main characters in each of the two books who regulate the time with their feelings about death Past present and future encounters with death guide each characters thoughts emotions and decisions daily in turn regulating interactions with other characters The two protagonists differ however as Yossarian invariably endeavors to avoid death while Billy has one foot in the grave practically his whole life Both McDermott and Hellers use of non-sequential structure provides for unique organization as the imminent presence of death serves as the controlling force of time Catch-22 set in the closing months of World War II in an American bomber squadron off Italy depicts the theme of a tenacious desire of Yossarian to escape his own pending death By manipulating the war setting and language itself Heller depicts a dark and twisted society Everything about the squadron represents death but no one seems to notice except Yossarian Theyre trying to kill me Yossarian told him calmly No ones trying to kill you Clevinger cried Then why are they shooting at me Yossarian asked Theyre shooting at everyone Clevinger answered Theyre trying to kill everyone page 25 From the start of the novel Yossarian is terrified of death At first these references are comical everyone wants to kill Yossarian However he is dead serious and runs into the hospital to escape flying more life-threatening missions Throughout the novel the bombardier Yossarian battles repeatedly with his superior officers over the dangerous
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