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Word Count: 347
Joseph Hellers Catch-22 is a novel that satirizes the war while at the same time uses the war to satirize society as a whole One running theme throughout the book is the soldiers loss of individualism This loss of individualism is not due to the horrors of the battlefield such as in The Eye in the Door but caused instead by the mentality and egotism of the armys top brass Lt Scheisskopf and his obsession with parades portray one example of this egotism Lt Scheisskopf does not see the soldiers as individual men but instead as puppets that he can manipulate and control At one point he even expresses his desire to wire the men together so that their movements will be precisely in sync just as if they really were mindless puppets This theme also appears through Colonel Cathcart and his ever-increasing demand on the number of missions his squadron must fly Colonel Cathcart does not continually raise the number for any military or strategic reasons Instead he is simply raising the number and thereby repeatedly risking the lives of his men solely to enhance his prestige and military ranking One last example is Yossarian himself who when wounded in the leg is told to take better care of himself because his leg is the property of the government Soldiers therefore are not seen as individual men but instead as governmental property that can be inventoried and even expelled Through his book Heller uses both satire and absurd humor to portray the ridiculousness of war and the continuous circle that many find themselves in when dealing with bureaucracy According to Heller Catch-22 is the law that says what is commanded is right simply because it is commanded and the illogical must be done because the command says it is logical To any rational mind this entire concept is absurd but its truth as a reality rings close to home making Catch-22 an exceptionally well-written
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